In the difficult times that we are now all living in the escapism of the movies can be a very welcoming thing. More so if that film is a beautiful feel-good story of love, hope and triumph over adversity. And that’s exactly what audiences get with Love Sarah, a picturesque little film that makes for a perfect treat.
Determined to fulfil her late mother’s dream of opening a bakery in charming Notting Hill, 19-year-old Clarissa (Shannon Tarbet) enlists the help of her mother’s best friend Isabella (Shelley Conn) and her eccentric estranged grandmother Mimi (Celia Imrie). These three generations of women will need to overcome grief, doubts and differences to honour the memory of their beloved Sarah while embarking on a journey to establish a London bakery filled with love, hope and colourful pastries from all over the world.
Director Eliza Schroeder makes her directorial debut with this sweet little comedy-drama, and with a subtle touch makes it an engaging film for her audience. Her story with Love Sarah is a relatively simple story, of three women, who seemingly have nothing in common with one another, save their connection to Sarah, the titular character, who brings them all together when they decide to honour Sarah’s dream to start a bakery. This is an ordinary story of highs and lows, love and loss, and ultimately of hope and success as these women chart a path for their success and find a deep sense of healing together. Schroeder strikes a great balance between both the dramatic and comedic elements of the film, and this results in a very rewarding piece of cinema.
Love Sarah is led by a collective of brilliant actresses including Celia Imrie, Shelley Conn and Shannon Tarbet. All three work together incredibly well and help to bring this unique story to life. Celia Imrie sets the tone of the film as Mimi, and the veteran British thespian brings a realness to the role of a woman who finds new meaning by bringing to life her late daughter’s bakery dream. Shelley Conn as Isabella is the most practical of the three characters and has to learn to embrace her creative side and think outside the box. Shannon Tarbet is the wild child of the group and through the film learns what it means to truly carry responsibility, and grows closer to Mimi, who has been a rather distant grandmother. The success of Love Sarah rests on the performance of its leading ladies and Schroeder’s cast put in a terrific performance.
Alongside its cast and director, Love Sarah is a simply stunning film to watch thanks to its quaint design and gorgeous food shots that will cause any dedicated foodie to start to salivate. It grounds itself in a modern palette and brings together the colours and textures of contemporary London. This film is made with loving attention to detail, and there’s a warmth and kindness that results through its cinematography and production design. You feel at home watching Love Sarah, and Schroeder’s shooting style helps to bring out the deeper themes of the piece such as the power of forgiveness and the hope that a collective goal can give to a diverse group of people.
Love Sarah is an utterly beautiful and heartwarming piece of cinema that is sure to tug at your heartstrings and leave your soul sparkling with joy. Films this good-natured need to be celebrated in the current times in which we live, and your inner soul will certainly thank you for watching it.