A Room With A View is one of those romance films that has so much drama you can only shake your head. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong and it’s mainly issues that the main characters bring about themselves. The romance here is definitely terrible all the way through and there is so much cheating going on that you forget who the protagonists are supposed to be. It really checks off all the wrong boxes all the way through.
So the movie starts with Lucy and her overprotective sister Charlotte trying to enjoy their hotel stay. Unfortunately they don’t have a room with a window and that causes a whole big fuss even though it really shouldn’t. A man named Mr. Emerson offers his room but Charlotte makes a big show of being rude to the guy because she figures that this is improper for some reason. Ultimately the heroines do get the room though and it turns out that Emerson’s son George likes Lucy. He makes a move on her in the fields which wasn’t very gentlemanly of him and Lucy puts some distance between them. There is a time skip and Lucy is now engaged to a disrespectful, condescending guy named Cecil but George figures he still has a chance. How will this play out?
There are a lot of issues here but first of all, George making a pass at Lucy while in the fields was definitely over the line. That was supposed to just be a chance for a normal conversation to get to know each other but he immediately went for the kiss. This is always one of the most annoying tropes. Yeah you probably want to show some initiative when you like someone but that means asking her out or throwing in some complements. Not immediately going for the kiss because 9 times out of 10 that’s going to end badly and even if it didn’t, it’s not the proper thing to do. There is no class involved with that.
It then gets worse when George pulls this stunt again while Lucy is engaged. At this point that is completely cheating and the problem is that George knows it. Basically George says that Cecil is wrong for her and so he is trying to break them up but that’s really not his place to say. You really have to stay your hand at this point because once someone is engaged then you have to respect that and George clearly doesn’t. This impacts the whole film because he is in a sense rewarded for this by winning in the end as you knew he would from the second the film started. That’s not a great moral and he is such a bad character that this is annoying.
Of course the film isn’t trying to be subtle here so Cecil is introduced as a really bad character too. For starters he is constantly insulting Lucy’s family and has total disdain for all of their family traditions and activities. He basically sneers at them all the time and you have to wonder how he and Lucy possibly got together. It would seem like she is only with him out of obligation and that’s not a good relationship either. So Cecil is awful and the film shows no attempts at hiding this but Lucy should have broken up with him first rather than cheating on the side.
So Lucy takes a lot of the blame here too for being too indecisive and letting others make decisions for her. Throughout the film one of the issues is that her sister Charlotte likes to make all of the decisions to “protect” Lucy but then she ends up betraying the heroine anyway. She tells Lucy’s darkest secrets to her writer friend to publish for the world and that’s not something that you can take back. It’s also why secrets are never worth it because if you tell one person then you may have just told everyone. You either hold it with you forever or it’s going to spill out and at that point it’s game over.
You couldn’t root for Lucy because she is a pushover the whole time. Then Charlotte is super unlikable the whole time too and just like that we’ve gone through virtually every character. I guess Mr. Emerson was okay but mainly because he was out of the loop the whole time and didn’t get to appear much. Otherwise he is trying to play matchmaker and it’s not for a great relationship pairing so that would have been really annoying otherwise.
The film loves its drama as the characters go across whole cities and states and somehow keep bumping into each other anyway. There is just no escape from this “destiny” or at least that’s what they would have you believe. That said, you cannot succeed if none of the characters are likable. Straight up it’s just going to be impossible to pull that off no matter how good or engaging the writing may try to be. At the end of the day you need a solid cast if you want to go far. Especially for a romance film since there is no fun soundtrack or dialogue to distract you.
I think a lot of movies also just miss the point of romance in general. A good romance should be one where it’s a relationship where both characters are happier than when they are alone. So if there’s always more drama, tension, and bickering then what’s really the point? There is not a single scene to show why Lucy even remotely liked Cecil. She can’t stand him and he just seems standoffish from the jump. You can tell he was created purely to get knocked down a peg by George and to lose the war so he’s just a waste of time.
Overall, A Room With A View is a film to avoid. The title along reminds me of how crazy it was to make a fuss about not having a window. Come on that’s not nearly as important as the characters were suggesting. I think Charlotte was just complaining to complain at that point or to get attention since she quickly tried to say no when the gentleman offered his room. It’s like there was just no winning at that point. Definitely a swing and a miss here.