Hotel De Love

on February 07, 1997 by Christine James
   A remarkably well-written and directed first feature from Craig Rosenberg, "Hotel de Love" is a thoroughly winsome, heartwarming, spirited and clever romantic comedy about two brothers in love with the same woman. At age 17, Stephen (Simon Bossell) is suddenly overtaken with the sensation of romance at a party, so he looks around to see from where this electricity could be emanating. He spies the beautiful Melissa ("Circle of Friends'" Saffron Burrows) and begins to approach her. But his suave fraternal twin Rick (Aden Young) beats him to her, and he and she fall for each other. Melissa eventually leaves to study abroad, and Stephen is left to pine for her, having never expressed his true emotions.
   Ten years later, the three accidentally reunite at the Hotel de Love, a wonderfully tacky honeymoon hotel with outrageously decorated themed suites, like a heavily foliaged "Garden of Eden" room and a "Jungle Passions" suite complete with stalactites and satin sheets--and where Rick is the hotel's cynical manager. He and his brother must attend the repeating of the marital vows of their ever-bickering parents. Meanwhile, Melissa has come to the hotel with the intent of breathing some passion into her relationship with her milquetoast boyfriend. With just the right combination of humor and genuine emotion, the whimsical "Hotel de Love" vivifies the spirit of romance thanks to a fantastically fun cast and script. Even characters you'd initially write off as no-hopers eventually come to show their sensitivity and depth, bringing a poignant, humanizing element to the comic proceedings. Starring Aden Young, Saffron Burrows and Simon Bossell. Directed and written by Craig Rosenberg. Produced by David Parker. A Live release. Romantic comedy. Rated R for sexuality. Running time: 93 min. Screened at the Toronto fest.
Tags: Aden Young, Saffron Burrows, Simon Bossell, Directed and written by Craig Rosenberg, Produced by David Parker, A Live release, Romantic comedy, passions, milquetoast, boyfriend, twin, emotions

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