Ali and Ava

Ali and Ava is about ordinary people falling in love.

To be honest, it’s actually weird to see a romance set in such realism. No one in this is a vampire, or a model, or a sexually twisted billionaire. In this movie, love looks like what it looks like for most of us, meeting someone, getting to know them, figuring out if it’s a good idea to go further. Instead of rising crescendoes as characters stand in the rain, all that emotion is contained within the same mundane constraints of needing to get yourself to work or keep the house tidy.

Ava is a good example of this. She is a loving, family-orientated, middle-aged grandmother, who works with kids at the local school as a classroom assistant. Everyone knows someone like Ava, who just live for their kids. And yet, this woman, with her rings reading Mum, and the tattoo of a swallow across her breast, living in a council house with her teenage boy and his new baby, when have you ever seen a woman like that depicted on screen with anything other than contempt, or as a punchline? Much less as a romantic lead.

Ava and Ali meet when he drives a friend’s kid to school, and offers to run Ava down the road at hometime when it’s pelting rain. It’s crazy how falling in love never really changes with age. They talk and make each other laugh, and share what music they like and mess about. Watching Ava and Ali sing to their tunes at the top of their voices in the livingroom, it just makes your heart swell to see love looking so familiar.

The course of true love never did run smooth though, and for Ali and Ava this takes the form of family. Ali has not fully extricated himself practically or emotionally from his soon-to-be ex-wife. Ava has not really prepared her family for her moving on from the memory of their father. Both are keeping illusions going for their family that they are reticent to shatter. And it is whether they are willing to take the risk of disappointing those closest to them that proves the challenge for their nascent relationship.

Lovely story celebrating the love and strength of ordinary folk.