Heavily in love! (2018)
Directed by: Jamel Aattache | 86 minutes | romance, comedy | Actors: Barbara Sloesen, Jim Bakkum, Liza Sips, Abbey Hoes, Jamie Grant, Davy Eduard King, Kay Greidanus, Sarah Chronis, Christopher Parren, Pim Wessels, Diana Dobbelman, Rienus Krul, Mouna Goeman Borgesius, Ernst ter Linden, Steef Cuijpers, Christine van Stralen, Ilse van Kollenburg, Kiefer Zwart
It’s a thin (no pun intended) dividing line between “funny” and “offensive,” walking “Heavily in love.” The plot of this Dutch romantic comedy, based on the book by Chantal van Gastel, is about a successful veterinarian who thinks himself a little too fat. However, she cannot resist the Bossche bollen – because the film is set in Den Bosch. In addition, she actually feels fine, sports is not her thing, she can lose her energy in her work and she always has fun with her two best friends. Yet after a while something starts to gnaw and she has the idea that it might be healthier to lose weight. And then she meets Ruben, and suddenly Isa has her hands full with butterflies and counting calories.
‘Heavily in love’ does many things well. Firstly, the desire of the lead actress Isa (a charming Barbara Sloesen, by the way far from ‘heavy’) to do something about her body size begins before a man makes her heart run wild. Isa’s girlfriends are also well written. They are not thin aunts who only chew on carrots and hand out stabs underwater according to the weight of their girlfriend. They are full of praise for the appearance of Isa and also for everything Isa has achieved in her life so far. And although Ruben’s annoying ex is such a skinny bitch, she doesn’t get off anywhere in the film and it is clear that the makers want to give the idea that ‘thin and fit’ does not automatically mean ‘attractive’.
‘Heavily in love’ looks pleasantly away, but not much is expected of the viewer. It’s all lighthearted and predictable. It is a pity that the central conflict – as a result of which the love between Isa and Ruben was not settled within half an hour – has been worked out so weakly and inconclusively. Many of these romkoms revolve around the lack of communication, and the resulting misunderstandings, but here it is very weak. Pluses are the setting in Den Bosch – ‘the New York of Brabant’, according to Isa (although the Brabant accent can’t be heard) and the chemistry between the protagonists, but it doesn’t really last.