A film adaptation of a charming story, starring an extremely charismatic cast? Sign me up. Juliet, Naked showcases a refreshing twist on the overplayed trope of revenge leading to so much more.
Before we discuss the main character of the film, Annie (Rose Byrne), it’s important that you know a little bit about her boyfriend—though soon to be ex—Duncan (Chris O’Dowd). Duncan is the self-proclaimed expert of all things Tucker Crowe—in fact, he’s the admin of the small close-knit fan forum that’s solely dedicated to the indie rock artist. Completely obsessed and infatuated with Crowe’s last known album “Juliet”, Duncan spends his days over-analysing and deciphering Crowe’s lyrics and speculates with other equally obsessed fans about his mysterious disappearance from the limelight; piecing together Crowe’s whereabouts today.
Annie, on the other hand, could not despise the name Tucker Crowe any more than she already does. Not only has her boyfriend built an entire shrine in honour of Crowe in her very own house, but she’s forced to listen to Duncan’s torturous lectures about him as well. However, the course of her relationship with Duncan is forever changed as she finally unleashes her honest feelings concerning Tucker Crowe—upon the arrival of a mysterious package. Arguments take place when it is revealed they don’t see eye-to-eye, which ultimately results in Annie publishing an online comment; completely slamming Crowe’s songs and dragging Crowe’s unreleased “Juliet, Naked” album through the mud.
Surprisingly, Annie is soon contacted by Crowe himself, complimenting her for her honest review of his work and for acknowledging it for what it is—complete garbage. Conversations don’t cease there, however, as both soon swap their life stories thus far, and hence, a new friendship is born. Crowe discloses his current unglamorous living state caused by all the mistakes he’s made, and Annie confesses that her life is as uneventful and monotonous as can be, with the highlight of her quiet career revolving around a dead shark’s eye preserved in a glass jar. Watch as feelings of envy and affection soon arise from their exchanges, which quickly serves as a reminder that life isn’t perfect, and it often gets in the way of love.
Juliet, Naked offers great comedy and story while being refreshingly reminiscent towards classic films like You’ve Got Mail and The Lake House. It’s definitely been a while since the much-loved trope of pen-pals-turned-romance has made an appearance on the big screen and let’s be honest—it’s a wildly loved concept. The casting choices for this film were brilliant, as you instantly fall in love with both of the main characters, while also finding yourself secretly loving Duncan’s character—because Chris O’Dowd is simply too hilarious not to love.
Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee that fans of the novel will be completely satisfied with its film adaptation, as I regretfully have to admit that I wasn’t even aware this movie had a novel counterpart till the credits started rolling. However, I can confirm that Juliet, Naked is a pleasant film that is sure to make you laugh and satisfy your inner rom-com-loving needs in the most un-Hollywood way possible—and let’s be honest, everybody needs a break from clichés from time-to-time!
Juliet, Naked is out in selected Perth cinemas now.