I’m Not in Love is every thirty-something-year-old woman’s nightmare, especially one whose biological clock is anxiously ticking. After dating his girlfriend Marta (Cristina Catalina) for a little too long, Rob (Al Weaver) is delivered an ultimatum—put up, or shut up. She wants to get married and have kids before she turns forty and he is decidedly uncertain if he even loves her. It’s a recipe for disaster and heartbreak.
Rob spirals and decides to go on a series of dates with girls that he either meets, or his best mate Chris (Morgan Watkins) sets him up with, all to try to figure out if he actually loves Marta enough to propose to her. It’s a really terrible scenario, but it’s hard to hate Rob when he’s played by Grantchester’s Al Weaver, whose mother in I’m Not in Love is played by Tessa Peake-Jones, who also plays Mrs. Maguire in the ITV series.
While I’m Not in Love premiered just in time for Valentine’s Day in the US, it is far from the typical rom-com fare that we’re used to. It’s not quite a dark comedy, but the film certainly takes a more morose approach to comedy. The humor has a very British vibe to it, which obviously makes sense, but some of its blase, deadpan jokes and gaffes may not land with a wider audience. Not everyone is into dry deliveries at the expense of a woman whose boyfriend is cheating on her. Which plays into a larger issue with the film. Col Spector’s script treats its female characters as disposable, frigid, and bitchy. It’s a common theme for every female character in the film—whether they are Rob’s mother, his friends’ wives and their hookups, or the women that Rob sort of dates. It’s not enough to be alarmed, but it’s enough to make you scratch your head about the choices made.
His father’s departure from his life has left Rob with a chip on his shoulder, but it’s never quite given the depth that it requires to fully excuse his negative reactions to the women within his circle, which in turn makes it hard to tell if Spector’s intent was to underline Rob’s feelings as a problem or if it was overlooked entirely. It’s unfortunate that the film doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing or what it’s saying, which can be just as grating as Rob’s own indecision. Is the audience meant to feel the same frustration that Marta feels as his girlfriend?
Ultimately, there’s an element of realism to I’m Not in Love. We have all met a “nice guy” like Rob who wants everything and nothing, until everything is taken away and he’s left with nothing. He’s not a very good friend or son, and he’s certainly not a good boyfriend, but none of it's enough to be genuinely mad at him. I can’t help but wonder if that’s why Spector cast Weaver in the role—it’s impossible to feel annoyed when he’s being indecisive and hapless.
I’m Not in Love is not a particularly fun movie, despite being a comedy, but it is worth the watch. It captures a distinct glimpse into the realm of modern dating, from the men who linger without putting a ring on a finger, to the men who think they know what’s best for everyone in their life, to the men who just simply exist. It’s a perfect film for the cynical at heart who are dreading the arrival of Valentine’s Day and the greeting-card sap that comes with it. It asks a few important questions, like “Who is the right person for me?” But it forgets to ask those questions of its characters and doesn’t quite stick its downer of an ending.
I’m Not in Love is available to rent on Prime Video, Apple TV, and Vudu. Check out the trailer below:
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Maggie Lovitt is the Managing Editor of Entertainment at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery. She is also a freelance writer and News Editor at Collider. She has had bylines at Inverse, Polygon, and Dorkside of the Force. She is also a member of the Hollywood Critics Association.
When she is not covering entertainment news, she can be found on one of her numerous podcasts or on her YouTube channel. In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.