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Review of Rye Lane – An engaging animated comedy set on the streets of South London | Movies

WellRaine Alan Miller, a first-timer at the restaurant, directs this romantic comic urban pastoral, crazy and freewheeling through the streets of south London with an almost childlike innocence – shot by Olan Collardi in rich color with cartoony wide-angle streetscapes and written by Nathan Bryan and Tom Melia. While it’s undoubtedly unsophisticated and pushy, it also has a kind, upbeat energy.

It benefits from two likable leads: Vivian Opara (of BBC TV’s spin-off Dr Who) and David Jonsson. Opara plays Yas, an aspiring fashion designer waiting for people to call her for job interviews. She finds herself in the gender-neutral toilets of a photography exhibition and hears the recently heartbroken Dom (Jonsson) sobbing in one of the stalls; Dom’s humiliation is then complete when Yas hesitantly asks him through the door if he’s okay, after which he has to tell him that this toilet is not, as he assumed, “the gentlemen’s”.

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But Yas cheerfully befriends the hapless Dom after he turns up and is furious to hear he’s on his way to a humiliating lunch date with his haughty ex and her new boyfriend, whose only goal is to keep him subdued and giving you are his blessing. And so, the impulsive and irrepressible Yas also shows up, posing as Dom’s assertive new girlfriend, a ruse that ends in chaos. But it’s also a kind of liberation for both of them: Yas and Dom find themselves wandering around cathartically together with no particular place to go, at one stage bumping into a surreal A-lister as a street food vendor, while Yas opens up about the flaws to the man she recently broke up with.

The problem was that he was “steadfast”; when they were on a bridge somewhere and people on a tour boat below waved at them, Yas always waved good-naturedly back, but this guy was too cool to do it, which shows a fundamental lack of humanity. As for the hapless Dom, one of the problems was that he had hoped to surprise his girlfriend by placing chocolates in their bed, but they melted, leading to an extremely non-sexual misunderstanding. They come up with a plan to rescue one of Yas’s favorite vinyl records that her creepy ex still keeps in his apartment, and of course that leads to more craziness and—who knows? – there may be a spark between them.

Admittedly, there’s not a lot of nuance or realism here, and as a veteran of kids’ shows, co-writer Nathan Bryan perhaps gives this too much of a kids’ TV feel. But it has an endearingly understated style, and Jonsson and Opara are likable performers.