Say When (2014) Directed by Lynn Shelton. With Keira Knightley, Sam Rockwell, Chloë Grace Moretz and Ellie Kemper.
Never judge a romantic-comedy by its title. Recently, I have enjoyed Man Up and now this, Lynn Shelton’s Say When (originally titled Laggies – eih!?), a seemingly standard-fare rom-com cut from indie-movie cloth, complete with incidental acoustic guitar music and pretty people.
On paper, it’s the kind of film that drives me slightly insane – the type that seems to spend much of its runtime ticking boxes, as opposed to triggering anything genuinely heartfelt. But, with some subtle touches, engaging leads and some slightly left-of-the-centre plot mechanics, minor wonders can be worked.
We’re introduced to Keira Knightley and her friends (most prominently an uptight Ellie ‘Kimmy Schmidt‘ Kemper). We also meet her boyfriend (Mark Webber) who seems like a nice bloke on the face of things, albeit weirdly so – like a well-behaved christian who’s so scared of swear words that he forgets to be a proper human. Stuff transpires to change the course of Keira’s life, when she befriends a teenager in the form of Chloë Grace Moretz – an unlikely relationship in a film that is full of unusual entanglements.
There are moments when you suspect the film is going to fall completely apart, but it scrapes through those time thanks to a good lead performance from Knightley, whose presence in this genre is a welcome one (see also Begin Again). Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have the charmingly infectious comedic presence of Sam Rockwell in support, and with his introduction, the film gets wind in its sails.
Apply all relationship types accordingly, but for all the chicks who love a flick, Say When ought to go down nicely with a glass of red while your man nods in-and-out of consciousness on the sofa next to you. 3.5/5