Home > Arts/Culture/Entertainment > Review: One True Loves

The trailer and publicity for Andy Fickman’s One True Loves advertise it as a contrived rom-com goof. Emma (Phillipa Soo) is happily married to Jesse (Luke Bracey) until he disappears in an airplane crash off the Pacific coast. Widowed, after four years she finally finds love again with her middle school best friend Sam (who we’re supposed to think is nerdy and less attractive than the competition, even though he’s played by Simu Liu). Then, on the eve of Sam and Emma’s wedding, Jesse returns. Emma has to decide who she wants to spend her life with: her returned husband or her new fiance.

There are definitely some funny lines in the film; high school music teacher Sam oversharing with his classes made me laugh out loud a couple of times. But at its core, One True Loves isn’t really a zany screwball film. It’s a dramatic weeper with surprising heart.

The exact details of Jesse’s four-years-on-a-desert-island experience are improbable. But the plot serves as a metaphor for a range of more mundane experiences—a loved one dying, a divorce, the way time and life and loss change you. Young Emma is an adventurous travel writer, free-spirited and with her eyes on the horizon—and then she can’t be that anymore, and she has to figure out what she can be instead. 

“I don’t think things have to last to be real,” Emma says. The romantic reconciliation here isn’t really with either of the guys on offer. Instead, the story is about Emma figuring out how to love her past and her present without betraying either. Rom-com fans may be slightly disappointed. But sometimes, One True Loves insists, it’s OK to not be quite what you were expected, or expected yourself, to be. PG-13, 100 min.

Limited release in theaters and wide release on VOD

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