Review: Heavily in love! 2 (2021) (Something About Love Original title: Zwaar verliefd! 2)
Heavily in love! 2 (2021)
Directed by: Marc Willard | 105 minutes | comedy, romance | Actors: Barbara Sloesen, Jim Bakkum, Frederik Brom, Abbey Hoes, Liza Sips, Jamie Grant, Pim Wessels, Rienus Krul, Soy Kroon, Christopher Parren, Sarah Chronis, Gürkan Küçüksentürk, Christine van Stralen, Sytske van der Ster, Eva Damen
Although the reviews were not tender, the romantic comedy ‘Heavily in love’ from 2018 managed to attract almost a quarter of a million viewers to the cinemas. The (mainly female) audience liked to be immersed in the adventures of the sympathetic veterinarian Isa (Barbara Sloesen), who falls head over heels for the muscular furniture maker Ruben (Jim Bakkum), but is so insecure about her appearance that she almost falls in love. of her life. The characters were created by writer Chantal van Gastel, who wrote a real trilogy about Isa and Ruben; after ‘Heavily in love’ appeared ‘Heavily tested’ followed by ‘Heavily gilded’. From the book titles you can already guess which relational paths Isa and Ruben follow in order to eventually find their great happiness. Because the first film made the box office quite wrinkled, it was decided to also bring ‘Heavily tested’ to the silver screen. For unclear reasons, the original title was replaced by the unimaginative ‘Heavy Love 2’ (2021). There is a good chance that the third book in the trilogy will also reach the cinemas.
Where the first film was directed by Jamel Aattache, Marc Willard is in charge of ‘Heavy Love 2’. Willard made few feature films and has so far earned his spurs mainly as a director of TV series such as “Baantjer”, “Westenwind”, “Dokter Tinus” and “Smeris”. For ‘Heavily in love 2’ he can in any case rely on a cast that is well attuned to each other, because almost all the actors from the first film return. Only Kay Greidanus, who played the role of Isa’s colleague Stijn, is no longer among them. He was replaced by Soy Kroon. Where in ‘Heavily in love’ it was all about the blossoming romance between Isa and Ruben, in this follow-up film there is a lot going on between the two. They even get on so well that they decide to move in together. But of course that doesn’t go without a fight, especially not because Isa is still a wildly insecure neurotic, who can’t get used to the idea that this handsome guy really belongs to her. In the morning she sets the alarm extra early to brush her teeth and style her hair so that she looks her Easter best when Ruben opens his eyes in a minute. As long as she doesn’t accept that living together means seeing everything about each other – including the less charming sides – the question is whether she’s ready for it.
But there are more dangers lurking for this fledgling relationship. Because Ruben is asked by his handsome and super slim ex-girlfriend Marleen (Sarah Chronis) to help her redesign her fashion store. And Ruben forgets to discuss with Isa whether she thinks that’s okay. In turn, Isa is working longer and longer days in the veterinary practice, where a new specialist has just started work. Isa learns a lot from Hugo (Frederik Brom) and he sees so much potential in her that he asks her to a veterinary medicine conference in the American city of Arizona. Because they are so absorbed in their work, the lovebirds only see each other when they flop into bed together at night, exhausted. But that can’t be the intention of living together, Ruben wonders aloud. Jealousy rears its head. Can the relationship withstand pushy colleagues? And when will Isa finally dare to be one hundred percent herself with Ruben?
Romkoms like this often don’t rely on their originality. How the story will unfold can be predicted in advance. You don’t have to expect deep conversations in films like ‘Heavily in love 2’, and neither do well-developed characters. Except for Isa then. Although that is also largely due to Barbara Sloesen, who knows how to portray her character attractively and realistically. All the other characters never really come to life, not even Ruben. In the beginning we seem to be watching a montage of kissing scenes, because Isa and Ruben so often fly into each other’s arms (note the bag that keeps falling to the floor and on which the camera zooms in) that it becomes annoying. With one such image it should be clear enough how crazy the two are about each other. It’s not nice to say, but the troubles of Isa’s friends and colleagues are not interesting at all; if you have actresses like Abbey Hoes and Jamie Grant at your disposal, you would think there would have been more residents. Also when it comes to humor Sloesen is the one who upholds the honor with her fresh appearance and excellent timing. The other characters are condemned to lame, often sexually tinted jokes (level dick suit as an outfit for a bachelor party and comments from the category ‘my wife also said last night’), which have been mothballed by screenwriter Anna Pauwels.
‘Heavily in love 2’ really only has one trump card and that is lead actress Barbara Sloesen, who makes this predictable and bland comedy somewhat worthwhile. Who dares to cast this talented actress in a more ambitious role?
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