What if being dumped wasn’t your fault? This is the belief that Frankie (Maeve Dermody) hangs onto after her ex-boyfriend’s precocious eleven-year-old (Rory Stroud) – who was also employed to dump her – tells her of a ground-breaking new study that supposes our love lives are written in our genes. Hilarity, heartbreak, mad chases across London, and personal growth ensue.
Love Type D is predictable, but a fun ride nonetheless. The rapport between Dermody and Stroud – notably the former’s nervous chatter and the latter’s matter-of-fact line delivery – is always light and enjoyable. The ‘science’ side of things is far-fetched enough to be fun instead of irritating. Watching Frankie and her peers fall for it in a quest to excuse their own bad luck and insecurities provides a sympathetic yet clear-eyed commentary on anxieties and stigmas surrounding relationships and singledom. The almost cult-like following Dr Elsa Blomgren (Tovah Feldshuh, excellent though underused) – and by turn, Frankie – achieve in their search for a ‘cure’ reveals much about modern dating’s pressures without belabouring the point.
Unfortunately, the last act of the film hinges on an extraordinarily morally questionable plot device that might entirely sink the film were the genders reversed in this scenario. The tone is still satiric and self-aware enough that this ruse cannot be taken as a believable or healthy situation, but a less lazy choice may have sidestepped this audience unease.
Love Type D is slight, silly, and requires a large leap of faith from its viewers, but there is a lot of fun to be had watching the lengths people will go to find love – or at least find answers. An over-long yet overly neat conclusion lets it down, but strong pacing and endless kindness for the ‘dumpees’ makes this a thoroughly enjoyable watch.
CAST: Maeve Dermody, Rory Stroud, Tovah Feldshuh, Oliver Farnworth
DIRECTOR: Sasha Collington
WRITERS: Sasha Collington
SYNOPSIS: After a particularly cruel breakup, a young woman begins to believe she is genetically unlucky in love.