"The yellowish instagram-filter-like cinematography conceals the raw ugliness typical of teenage years and bad decisions"
In a nutshell, Kids in Love is about a bunch of bored teenagers that keep asking each other “What do you do?” and “What do you want to do?” in an attempt to not only sound smart and deep, but also to find something to do. These questions do not hide any sort of profound meaning, yet Jack (Will Poulter), who just graduated from high school, seems suddenly enlightened when he realises that he can’t answer them. At that point his plan of going to university seems incredibly trivial. Because Jack deserves better. He’s clearly meant to do big things in life and higher education never helped anyone achieve that. Besides, there is more to life than money and stability, like… clubbing, man.
Jack’s descent into delusion begins when he meets the gorgeous Evelyn (Alma Jodorowsky) and her friends. He soon realises that he stumbled across the #coolkids and decides to ditch his best friend Tom (Jamie Backley) after his new best friend Cassius (Preston Thompson) gives him a very expensive camera. With his new film camera around his neck and a cigarette he clearly doesn’t know how to light in his mouth, Jack finally feels fulfilled. The only thing missing in his new life is Evelyn, his muse. Surprisingly enough though, she has a boyfriend (Sebastian De Souza) who happens to be a drug dealer with a pimp attitude. At this point, Kids in Love could have been just another pointless coming of age film, but it’s really not. It’s an offensive, pretentious and pointless coming of age film. Just like the characters it features. Not the best debut for director Chris Foggin.
Nowadays, people might expect filmmakers to at least be aware of the current issues. Sexism is a current issue. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a cliché that should have died long ago. However, Kids in Love features not one, but three female characters whose only purpose in the narrative is to teach the main male character how to embrace life. Although Evelyn also plays the poor soul who must be saved by her abusive boyfriend and her own intricate mind. Fortunately enough, Viola (Cara Delevingne) and Elena (Gala Gordon) are there not only to inject some joie-de-vivre into Jack’s dull character, but also host parties in the houses their parents left them when they died. As men worry about money while driving ridiculously expensive cars to Viola and Elena’s holiday house, women lay in beds or couches or on the floor, worrying about being pretty.
Alongside bringing back and reinforcing offensive archetypes, Foggin’s film fails to cover themes that could have actually been somehow interesting if not necessary in a coming of age film. The yellowish instagram-filter-like cinematography conceals the raw ugliness typical of teenage years and bad decisions, that although not being exactly original could have made the “edgy” content presented at least believable.