Juliet, Naked was one of the most grounded romantic comedies we’ve seen a long time. Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, and Chris O’Dawd give us solid performances as broken souls who find themselves in a love triangle that makes no sense at all.
Sometimes people find something to love and sometimes become so obsessed with that particular thing that they lose focus and let everything else around them fall apart. Duncan (O’Dawd) loves Tucker Crowe (Hawke) so much that his long-term relationship will crumble. After an affair, Bryne’s character Annie is forced to write Tucker to tell him that he’s ruined the love of her life without even knowing it. Tucker responds and agrees to meet Annie. Amazingly these two hit it off as friends and lovers. Duncan tries to force his way back in only to have his hero and his flaws blow up in his face.
Each character grows on you for various reasons throughout the story. Hawke has been missing in action and his personal life is a disaster straight from the Bible. He means well but never puts in the last-ditch effort to get out of the rut he creates for himself. Annie accepts her fate and you feel bad for her because she deserves so much more. Duncan is a douche from start to finish and deserves to have his crap for dinner. The chemistry these three show while dealing with their own personal problems is what is so engaging about the story and is the fluid that keeps the film moving.
Juliet, Naked is one of those niche films that will fall through the cracks. It will never headline the romantic comedy list on Netflix or VOD. The major theatre chain here didn’t even carry the movie, so we had to travel to a different theatre to watch it. The trailer may be a little misleading because I thought this would be one of the best movies of the year. It has many flaws and pitfalls but is so charming that even the most cynical romantic comedy hater could find something positive to say about it. The story never gets messy or cliché, it just goes with the flow as three human beings struggle to find love and happiness as they intersect at various points in life. 7/10