By Stefan Pape,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Charming British romcom has language, some sexual content.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The sense of overcoming past trauma and finding love again is a prevalent theme. The movie promotes the idea that special people can enter your life at any moment, which can lead to meaningful relationships.
Positive Role Models
Dom and Yas are both hardworking professionals, who take their craft seriously and are ambitious in their respective fields. Both are fresh off the back of messy break-ups, but realize, together, they can find happiness again. Dom is sensitive. He is seen crying and isn't shamed for doing so.
The film is set in the vibrant area of Peckham, one of the most multicultural parts of London. The cast -- both the two leads and supporting roles -- reflect this. One character appears to identify as non-binary. Afro-Caribbean British female director.
Inclusion information: Black actors
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Violence & Scariness
People are seen fighting in the cubicles at an art gallery. In one scene, when two people break into somebody's house, they are confronted and one is subsequently hit in the face.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Although not explicit, a character sees a friend's penis on their phone. Kissing. Reference to masturbation. In one scene, a character performs oral sex on their partner -- brief and non-explicit. At an art gallery there are countless photographs of bare buttocks on the walls. Two characters urinate next to each other -- no genitals shown but urine is seen.
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Language is strong and frequent. There is one use of the word "c--t" as well as countless uses of "f--k" and variants of. Other words such as "s--t," "bitch," "c--k," and "pr--k" are also heard. British swear word "wanker" is also used. One character insults another's mother and characters give the middle finger gesture.
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Products & Purchases
The characters discuss the merits of local takeaway chains Greggs and Morleys. Tinder is also mentioned. Gentrification is discussed and poked fun at.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
People are seen drinking alcohol at an art gallery. Characters drink red wine and beer together. At a BBQ, the guests in the garden are drinking straight rum. Extras and supporting roles can be seen smoking cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rye Lane is a heartwarming British romcom about finding love again, when you least expect it. Dom (David Jonsson) and Yas (Vivian Oparah) have both recently endured messy break-ups, but the film shows there is light at the end of the tunnel and happiness still to be gained. The movie offers a positive, authentic depiction of young people in London, thriving in its reflection of the diverse and multicultural city. Both Dom and Yas are positive Black characters, ambitious and hardworking young professionals. Dom is seen crying, as the film explores his vulnerability and sensitivity, something that remains rare of male characters in cinema. The language is strong and frequent, and includes one use of "c--t," as well as "f--k," "bitch," "s--t," and more. Non-explicit sexual content includes a character performing oral sex on her boyfriend and an image of a penis on a cellphone. There is a small amount of violence as a man who finds his house broken into hits one of the perpetrators in the face. Characters drink alcohol in social settings and smoke too, but it's never to excess or glamorized.
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What's the Story?
RYE LANE tells the story of Dom (David Jonsson) and Yas (Vivian Oparah), who meet at a mutual friend's art exhibition in Peckham, London. Initially bonding over a shared ordeal of having both recently broken up from their long-term relationships, the pair set off on a walk around this vibrant South London neighborhood, getting to know one another, and realizing that perhaps there could be someone else out there, after all.
Is It Any Good?
This British romcom is sure to go down as a modern classic. Rye Lane's director Raine Allen-Miller has managed to pay homage to the familiar tropes of the romantic comedy genre, yet crafted something that feels new and unique. Influences range from Richard Linklater's Before trilogy to When Harry Met Sally, with a sprinkling of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. But the film stands tall on its own feet, too. Those familiar with the area will relish seeing Peckham in all its glory, filmed with such an affectionate, warm eye. While others will enjoy exploring this vibrant part of London. The movie takes stylistic risks too. The framing and lens used takes a little while to get used to. But this only adds to film's character. Talking of which, the central characters Dom and Yas -- two names that now feel like they've belonged together forever -- are played superbly by Jonsson and Oparah. The two actors perfectly balance the comedic elements (of which there are many, this is laugh out loud on occasion) with the more poignant elements, straddling that tricky line in triumphant fashion. The way Dom smiles at Yas is everything. This film is everything.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what Rye Lane says about relationships and where they can spring from. Did Dom and Yas' coming together feel realistic? What drew them to each other? How did this film compare to other romcoms?
The film is set in a multicultural part of London with diverse characters that reflect this. What did this add to the movie? Why representation matters in kids' media.
Would you describe Dom and Yas as positive role models? Why, or why not? What character strengths did they both display?
Talk about the strong language used in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
How was sex and nudity portrayed? Was it affectionate? Respectful? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
- On DVD or streaming: March 31, 2023
- Cast: David Jonsson, Vivian Oparah, Omari Douglas
- Director: Raine Allen-Miller
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studios: Searchlight Pictures, Hulu
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Music and Sing-Along
- Character Strengths: Communication, Curiosity
- Run time: 82 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: language, some sexual content and nudity
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: May 13, 2023
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