By Will Barber Taylor
Drifting through his gap year with its obligatory internships and vague travel plans, Jack (Will Poulter) has always suspected there was more to life. A chance encounter with the beautiful and ethereal Evelyn (Alma Jodorowsky) 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 beautiful and 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.
Kids in Love is a new take on the coming of age story set against the backdrop of underground, bohemian London.
Coming of age films have had a profound impact on each generation of teenagers ever since the release of James Dean’s 1955 Rebel Without A Cause. Reinforced by the “Angry Young Men” movement and the likes of Look Back in Anger, coming of age films were once hard hitting pieces of social commentary that didn’t let up from their intended purpose to shock and surprise their audience. Over the years, coming of age films have adapted.
In the 1990s, coming of age films were more in the mould of Clueless or American Pie than Rebel Without A Cause. Rarely has filmed strayed, in the coming of age genre at least, from the path of American Pie to that of Look Back in Anger. Yet, Kids in Love manages not only to go back in the direction of Rebel Without A Cause but also finds a happy medium to exist between it and is something more comic like Clueless.
Beginning in a traditional way with Jack and his friend Tom (Jamie Blackley) setting off for a gap year before going to university. Jack is also set up with a placement at his father’s friend’s law firm. Of course, this all changes when Jack meets Evelyn. Jack falls in love with Evelyn and attempts to pursue her whilst engaging with her strangely bohemian group of friends. Yet, rather than send us into the usual uplifting comedy of error, Kids In Love instead challenges its audience. Jack may begin the film as a wide eyed idealist who wants to “find something more” but as he goes further down into the carefree land of Evelyn and her friends, we see him change. The message the film delivers is that not only is friendship key but essential for the development of an individual.
The performances are all great. Will Poulter’s central performance as Jack is wonderful to watch. Poulter keeps the character real and without attempting to “act” like a teenager. He inhabits the role fully and brings a great amount of gravitas to his portrayal. Whilst maintaining this, however, Poulter is also clearly having fun with the role and readily embraces the comedic elements of the part and emphasises them.
Kids in Love is a great lesson in love, life and the right to pursue your dreams. Sebastian de Souza and Preston Thompson create a world that is real and yet set at the right distance to be dreamlike, almost fantastical. Kids in Love will resonate with those who see it because it is a film about finding yourself without sugar coating the bad mistakes that you make in life or the missed opportunities you fail to take. It walks the fine line between a delightful comedy like Clueless and a hard hitting dramatic epiphany such as Look Back in Anger. In short, it is brilliant at portraying life exactly how it is; profound and funny.
You can purchase Kids In Love directly from We Are Colony here.