Raine Ann Miller pulls from Richard Linklater's style for her delightful directorial debut, Rye Lane from Hulu. Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia pen the film's screenplay. Yas (Vivian Oparah) and Dom (David Jonsson), two twenty-somethings both reeling from disastrous break-ups, connect over the course of an eventful day in South London, helping each other deal with their nightmare exes and potentially restoring their faith in romance.
During an art exhibition somewhere in London, the two meet in a unisex toilet as part of their meet cute. Undoubtedly, there are better places to meet a potential love interest. However, the script concludes their meeting organically as they hear each other through the toilet walls due to the fact that Dom is crying bitterly over the end of his relationship with Gia (Karene Peter), who cheated on him with his best friend to end their relationship.
In the wake of this first encounter on the toilet, the two talk to each other at the exhibition. They share their past and present relationships since Yas has only been single again a concise while ago but seems to be dealing with it much better than Dom has. Afterward, he goes on a date with his ex, including his former best friend, who is now her new lover, along with his ex. The conversation should be a clarification, but Dom is not in the mood for it. Consequently, Yas suggests that he comes along with him and pretends to be his girlfriend to one-up his ex and former friend.
It is no secret that the trope of following two characters as they discover each other's unfortunate relationships throughout a single day is not new. However, they both support and encourage each other to grow while having disagreements culminating in a will/won't get together ending as they support and encourage one another to grow. It is the first time you have seen this movie look this believable, even though you have seen it numerous times.
Rye Lane is a delightful and cleverly-crafted story, filled with engaging and memorable characters, that shows the power of companionship and offers a glimmer of hope in the midst of broken relationships.
Final Grade: B+
Rye Lane is available to stream on Hulu now.