Movie review / ‘Love Sarah’ (PG)

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“Love Sarah” (PG) ***

DETERMINED to fulfil her late mother’s dream of opening a bakery in Notting Hill, 19-year-old Clarissa (Shannon Tarbet) enlists the help of her mother’s best friend Isabella (Shelley Conn) and her eccentric estranged grandmother Mimi (Celia Imrie).

Eliza Schroeder’s feature film debut after a small collection of TV short films is short on surprises, long on predictability and overall quite pleasant. Into this gaggle of women, Schroeder and co-writer Jake Brunger insert Matthew (Rupert Penry-Jones, who’d energise any red-blooded woman’s Bartholin glands). Is he Clarissa’s biological father? Sarah died without telling.

Every film needs a star. For “Love Sarah”, that’s Mimi, who solves business problems and catches the eye of Felix (Bill Paterson) who’s inventing a new burglar alarm. 

One might imagine that Celia Imrie, an actress with an impressive CV (169 cinema and TV roles), who will turn 70 next week, might be reluctant to display time’s ravages on her complexion. Not a bit of it. She plays Mimi with gusto, showing those younger women what’s what when the chips are down. Vanity plays no role in her life and career.

In a world reeling under that nasty virus, a film in which the title character gets reduced to a name on the sign over a Notting Hill cafe serving photogenic sweet cakes to homesick émigrés places Australia a bit low in its rankings – lamington, anybody?

At Palace Electric and Dendy



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"Love Sarah" (PG) ***
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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer


  1. Unfortunately, too many other reviewers have made very condescending reviews. About the “sweet” relationships between the women, or the lack of charisma between Penry-Jones and Shelley Conn.

    Another excoriated the women for being all white, seemingly ignorant of Conn’s Portuguese, Burmese and Indian heritage which does show in the light brown of her skin.

    Others have deplored goody-goodness of the setting and its topic. AS we just must have gritty realism in all our movies.

    Others appeared to overlook the explicit reference to Ottolenghi, in the passing comment that she trained with him. In the credits, there was rather a large acknowledgement to him and I thus assumed that the cakes being actually eaten in the movie were his products.

    Otherwise, in these very troubled times, we found it a very good and cheerful piece of story-telling.

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