Chris Foggin‘s KIDS IN LOVE feels right at home in any time period and isn’t rooted in the gen x or millennial hang ups that typical American films tend to go for. KIDS IN LOVE explores the “what now” part of life in the UK when young adults are forced to examine themselves and ask the hard questions of who they are, and what they want to do with their lives. How do they live up to their parent’s expectation while at the same time not losing their own burgeoning sense of identity and freedom.
Jack (Will Poulter) is a recently graduated young adult taking a gap year before heading off to Bristol for University to study law at his parent’s urging. He meets free spirited artist Evelyn (Alma Jodorowsky) who introduces Jack to her friends and a lifestyle that is unlike anything he is used to. Nevertheless Jack flourishes with this new group of friends who accept him for who he is, even if he’s still figuring it out himself. Jack takes to Evelyn immediately, and she very obviously likes him too, and once her boyfriend/financial supporter Milo (Sebastian De Souza) is briefly out of the picture, they’re finally able to explore the nature of their relationship further.
The movie moves along nicely, and transitions naturally. It’s very well shot, with vibrant colors and production design that very much captures different parts of London, the countryside, and the people living in it. Cinematography Dirk Nel has a keen and natural eye for good shots, and while his cinematography is nothing overly complicated, his shots are tight and framing spot on.
There are some poignant moments in KIDS IN LOVE that round out the supporting characters. One such moment is when Jack is talking to him mom about whether she wanted anything more out of her life, and it’s revealed that she wanted to be a painter, which was something Jack had never heard before and hits home that parent’s once had to make the same hard life decisions that teens and young adults are faced with today, and that you can only do what’s right in the moment, even though those decisions might affect you the rest of your life. Additional stars in KIDS IN LOVE, including Cara Delevingne, Preston Thompson, and Gala Gordon provide great moments of respite to the drama between Jack and Evelyn’s characters and round out the group of friends that Jack has aligned with.
In regards to the drama, KIDS IN LOVE is basically teen/young adult fare that satisfies throughout the just over 90 minute runtime. While this movie has an almost nostalgic feel for an adult, teens just entering adulthood might look at KIDS IN LOVE as more of a call to action, and a snapshot of that particular moment in time of their life when they’re most vulnerable to “growing up” and “giving in” to other people’s desires for their lives without letter them explore their options first. The movie is fairly feel-good. No one needs to die for their to create a change of character, and even the antagonist of the movie still comes off somewhat likable at times. It’s a realistic view of people, friendships, loves, and the journey to find one-self and shows that there are shades of grey to everyone and everything.
KIDS IN LOVE Review
FILM SYNOPSIS - Set against the backdrop of an underground, bohemian London, Kids In Love offers a new take on the traditional coming of age story. Drifting through his gap year with internships and travel plans, Jack (Will Poulter) has always suspected there was more to life than this. A chance encounter with the beautiful and ethereal Evelyn (Alma Jodorowsky) and her friends, including free spirited Viola (Cara Delevingne), swerves his life radically off course. She is like no one he's ever met before, and he quickly becomes caught up in a whirlwind of all-day parties and wild nights in London's hidden dives with her charismatic friends. Giving up everything to follow Evelyn and her hedonistic lifestyle, it takes Jack a while to realise what he's leaving behind, that love isn't a game you want to lose and that these people might not be the kindred spirits he first thought.