Goddammit, this is a tough one to review. On its merits it's a beautifully made piece, with that typical Strang polish of gorgeous visuals and a snappy edit. And yet, and yet, I dunno, I get the impression they reeeeeally didn't want to make a Rom Com, and so kinda worked around it on a technicality, like that kid who turns up to the fancy dress party wearing normal clothes and a sign around their neck that reads I AM CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW.
Then again, perhaps it begins as mere pastiche but then somewhat transcends that, with the roll-call of tropes actually developing cleverly into a kind of escalating meta-narrative. There was certainly a narrative backbone to things to anchor you, most notably the Rom Com heroine. The device of returning again and again to her mother was also a nice touch, and established the rhythm of the variation, reset, variation, reset procession. Although speaking of rhythm, the acceleration started to get exhausting after a while, and towards the end I think I was craving a moment or two of stillness to offset the crazy.
One thing that's undeniable is that this film is a treasure trove of 'content', which is an impressive feat in itself within the 48-hour time constraint. This, alongside the meta-narrative (and a shared lead actress), brings to mind my favourite of Strang's efforts to date, their 2012 flick "True." (although I would argue that this new offering is one layer short of the lofty heights of that older film). But more than anything else, this is a triumph of well-executed genre-laundry-list cinema, and I suspect that a second viewing will reward me with the discovery of a few extra touches that I missed first time round.