Free-spirited Kassa (Ky-Mani Marley) is a Rastafarian reggae artist looking for a soulful singer. Goody two-shoes Serena (Cherine Anderson) is the gospel crooning daughter of a well-to-do Pentecostal preacher. Together they make up the star-cross'd lovers in Jamaican pic One Love, a feel-good romance as cheesy and formulaic as they come. The attractiveness of the film's leads and the general sense of innocence and exuberance go a long way towards making it watchable. But only the most easy-going cinemagoers will give it any love.
Kassa and Serena are separated by more than just culture; a cluster of thinly-sketched character staples vie to throw them off course: the shame-fearing father insistent she stays with her own kind; the upstanding and jealous fiancée with a dubious past; the unscrupulous record boss and his gormless muscle (Vas Blackwood). While the weight of clichés alone ought be enough to capsize them, Kassa and Serena's romance, though, remains rocksteady.
"A SURE-FOOTED JOLLY AROUND DANCEHALL AND REGGAE"
The soundtrack meanwhile offers a sure-footed jolly around modern commercial dancehall and reggae (Sizzla, Junior Kelly and Sean Paul show up, along with a few breezy Bob Marley re-workings). A handful of hints at the problems the island faces - corruption, drugs, intolerance - threaten to say something interesting, but these are frittered away in the rush to tie up the good-natured banalities of the plot in time for a singalong ending.