Director Eliza Schroeder‘s feature debut is a delightful comedy-drama in the best tradition of gentle British films.
The eponymous Sarah dies within the first few minutes of the film (not a spoiler…!), leaving her best friend Isabella holding a lease on a run-down shop which they were going to turn into a bakery. Into the picture comes Sarah’s estranged mother Mimi, a retired circus acrobat, and Sarah’s daughter Clarissa. The three women decide, in honour of their lost loved-one, to open the bakery anyway. When they employ Sarah’s ex-boyfriend Matthew in the kitchen, the developing relationships become as frenzied as the renovations.
The ever reliable Celia Imrie is the linchpin of the cast as Mimi. Shelley Conn as Isabella and Shannon Tarbet as Clarissa both put in solid performances, as does the delightful Rupert Penry-Jones as Matthew. The script revolves around the relationships between the four, but also around the bakery itself. It becomes an exploration of food, family, home and the importance of “breaking bread”.
Screenplay by Schroeder, Jake Brunger and Mahalia Rimmer does what it says on the can, although could have gone deeper in parts.
Perhaps the biggest star of all is the baking itself, supplied by the amazing Ottolenghi in Notting Hill, where the film is set. Everyone who sees this will want to go straight out to their nearest good bakery!
Love Sarah is charming, honest, humorous, warm and quirky. It is a classic example of the kind of film the Brits do particularly well, never falling into overt sentimentality or cliche.
Love Sarah opens on July 2nd