‘Love Sarah’ brings a loved one’s delicious dream to life

Love Sarah | Dir: Eliza Schroeder | ★ ★ ★ ½ 

Sarah (Candice Brown) is cycling to Notting Hill to meet her best friend Isabelle (Shelly Conn) to discuss what has to be done to open a bakery/café in a run-down piece of real estate in West London. In a tragic turn of events, she doesn’t make it.

At the same time her estranged mother Mimi (Celia Imrie) is writing her a letter to try to repair their relationship and Sarah’s 19 year-old daughter Clarrisa (Shannon Tarbet) breaks up with her boyfriend and, having nowhere to live, camps out in the abandoned building.

Life goes on and the film quickly jumps to the three women getting together to make Sarah’s dream into reality and one of Sarah’s ex-boyfriends Matthew (Rupert Penry-Jones), who just happens to be a top-class chef, joins the trio.

The café Love Sarah looks good as Mimi seems to have a bottomless cheque account to pay for renovations, but the comes across as a light and sweet confectionery. Miraculous mouth-watering cakes are produced from the kitchen while predictable sparks ignite between Isabelle and Matthew, and Clarissa wonders if Matthew might actually be her father.

There is no real exploration of grief from the three generations of women, even though the whole exercise is to honour someone who was taken from this world too early. Mimi comes closest as she ponders on the wasted years that kept her distanced from her daughter.

Maybe to give it extra meaning, the baking venture struggles before it finds a niche with London’s diverse cultural groups. Again, the cultural significance of food could have had a larger role rather than coming as a sprinkling without any emotional connection to really move an audience.

Love Sarah is a pleasant treat for the re-opening of the Windsor Cinema and Luna on SX and commences on Thursday 2 July.

Lezly Herbert

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