Only You

Movie review by
Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media
Only You Movie Poster Image
Romantic drama on the challenges of conception; sex scenes.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 119 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Themes include patience, communication, compromise, and empathy -- key ingredients to a long-lasting relationship. Caring more about who someone is rather than where they are from.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Both Elena and Jake are extremely flawed, but real. They display some of our finest traits, such as Jake's compassion and Elena's emotional intelligence. And some of our worst too -- Jake can be immature and idealistic, while Elena is rash and confrontational.


Some arguing. In one scene, a character punches a door during an argument.


Sex is a key component to the plot. What begins as a drunken one-night stand quickly develops into a loving relationship. The two main characters begin trying for a baby. The sex scenes are frequent and realistic, but not graphic. Some brief nudity -- buttocks and breasts.


Some use of "f--k" and "s--t." Characters say hurtful words to one another.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters occasionally drink, mostly at social functions like parties and weddings. The movie begins with a character drunk on New Year's Eve, who invites a stranger back to her flat for sex. Supporting characters smoke.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Only You is a gripping romantic drama that presents an accurate depiction of modern relationships with some scenes of a sexual nature. Taking a raw look at modern love, the movie examines issues such as the nine-year age gap between Elena (Laia Costa) and Jake (Josh O'Connor), and the want and difficulties in trying for a baby. Sex scenes are frequent, including one in the opening act which occurs under the influence of alcohol. There is some brief nudity -- buttocks and breasts -- but no full-frontal. The couple's problems conceiving heighten emotions and lead to arguments -- Elena punches a door during one argument -- and some use of "f--k" and "s--t." But the movie subverts gender expectations in a way that is more reflective of a contemporary world. The troubles the couple encounter are very age-specific, but could provide the next generation with an unflinching, real take on falling in love.

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What's the story?

ONLY YOU begins when two strangers share a cab on New Year's Eve. Elena (Laia Costa) invites Jake (Josh O'Connor) back to her home, where they engage in a passionate one-night stand. They fall in love, move in together, and soon begin trying for a baby. But they encounter many difficulties along the way and decide to start IVF treatment. This soon takes its toll -- both physically and emotionally -- on this once loved-up couple.

Is it any good?

This film is awkward at times, it's heartbreaking in others, and beautifully mawkish too -- but it's never not real. Only You is director Harry Wootliff's first feature film, but is fully deserving of its BAFTA nomination for Outstanding Debut. Through the characters of Jake and Elena, we're presented a strikingly naturalistic take on modern romance. The chemistry between the leads is undeniable. The way Jake looks at Elena with so much love and admiration is a masterclass in acting, but it's also displayed in his subtle sense of blissful idealism. Costa matches her co-star at every turn with a complex, internalized display, as her inner conflicts are delicately explored.

It's a testament to Wootliff's screenplay that the dialogue is so natural it seems improvised. It truly feels we're on this same journey with the protagonists. The movie's authenticity never once compromises on the cinematic quality, which is visually impressive. It also features one of the best father-son conversations since Call Me By Your Name. Only You is an honest portrayal of the difficulties and challenges couples face in today's world.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Elena and Jake in Only You. What challenges do they face as a couple? How do they overcome them? What character strengths do you think are most important to a successful relationship?

  • Did Elena feel like a realistic character to you? In what way? How does she compare to other female characters you have seen portrayed on screen? Discuss gender representation in movies.

  • Jake and his father have a meaningful discussion about relationships. How does this help Jake? Why is communication so important?

  • How is sex portrayed in the movie? Is it loving and respectful? What does it mean for the characters involved? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

Movie details

For kids who love romantic dramas

Character Strengths

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