Isabella (Shelley Conn) was just about to finally open a bakery together with her best friend Sarah (Candice Brown). But then Sarah dies and Isabella is left scrambling. As is Sarah’s daughter Clarissa (Shannon Tarbet) and Sarah’s mother Mimi (Celia Imrie) with whom she had a big fight just before her death. As Isabella is about to lose everything and unable to open the bakery on her own, Clarissa comes up with an idea: she will ask Mimi for funding and the three will open the bakery together in Sarah’s honor. All they need is a baker – who they seem to find in Matthew (Rupert Penry-Jones), Sarah’s long time ex-boyfriend. But there is still something missing for their success.
Love Sarah is pretty much as you expect it to be: a sweet piece of fluff. Much like the cakes in the film, they are beautifully designed to make you happy for a short moment, though – unlike the cakes in the film – the film will not cause any upheaval in the industry.
I watched Love Sarah expecting to get a healthy dose of love and romance, with maybe a tear here and there for the drama. And that is pretty much what the film delivers, always managing to just steer away from a sugar overdose and being too much. But sometimes it’s a close call.
I did struggle a little with the concept of the bakery. When their “normal” French pastry doesn’t sell at first, Mimi has the idea to go for an international theme, providing the immigrant community with the treats from home they couldn’t get in London. And while it is nice that they celebrated multiculturalism in this way, I was completely weirded out by the fact that they didn’t acknowledge at all in the film that Isabella isn’t white and probably has ties to another culture through her family (and that it’s Mimi who has the idea). Plus, their ultimate success comes when they are discovered by the mainstream and they are able to contribute even more to the gentrification of the area. Yay, I guess.
But on the emotional side of things, the film does work without straying too far from any well-established romance path, giving us the familiar beats that we are probably all looking for in romances by now and would maybe even be disappointed if they weren’t there. Thus it delivers exactly what you expect it to deliver.
Love Sarah may not be the best film of all times and it probably won’t leave you breathless with excitement or another emotion, but a cake doesn’t need to be the best cake ever, either, to be a perfectly satisfying dessert that makes you happy – and Love Sarah is much like a cake in that sense.