Stars: Laia Costa, Josh O’Connor
This Glasgow-set relationship drama begins like a mainstream romance, albeit one with tastefully autumnal-hued trappings, then seems to be gearing up for a psychological thriller, before settling on maudlin drama. Costa, from one-take German thriller ‘Victoria’, is Elena, a thirty-five-year old Spanish woman working for the arts council. Trying to get a taxi home after a New Year’s Eve party, she runs into Jake (O’Connor, last seen on the big screen in ‘God’s Own Country’), a middle-class marine biology student and part-time DJ. They share the ride and Jake ends up spending the night. Mere days later he has moved in, shortly after that there is talk of having a baby, at which point Elena confesses her true age. Attempts to get pregnant prove fraught. The leads do exhibit a degree of chemistry but struggle with sketchily written characters. Of the two, the appealing Costa manages best, even if her character can be summarised as ‘Spanish’ and ‘sad’ while the Scottish characters are reduced to mere supporting roles, exemplars of happy and unhappy family members. The mumbled dialogue feels more like a simulacrum of realism than naturalistic, and by the midway point the picture has descended into lachrymosity.