Warning: This article contains mild spoilers for Rye Lane.


South London-set romcom Rye Lane received rave reviews after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier in the year – and now it arrives in UK cinemas this weekend.

The film follows recently single 20-somethings Yas and Dom as they spend a day together following an unorthodox meet-cute in a gallery toilet, with Vivian Oparah and Industry's David Jonsson starring in the lead roles.

Throughout an extremely eventful day, the pair discuss their bad breakups and happen across all manner of strange sights and larger-than-life characters – including a very brief run-in with a Hollywood A-lister and modern icon of British cinema.

The A-lister in question is none other than Colin Firth, who appears as a food server at a Mexican food stall appropriately called Love Guac'tually – and speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, director Raine Allen-Miller explained just how the cameo appearance came about.

"I’ve got a funny story about Love Guac'tually," she said. "I decided I really want to do this thing where we have a shop that's called like, About a Burrito or something. I said it to my partner, and I was like, it has to have somebody like You Know Who in there. And my partner just suddenly came out and went, 'What about Love Guac'tually?' And I was like, 'Oh my god.' And it was like the best thing ever."

She added: "I always wanted to do like a cheeky wink to those other films that are set in London and are romantic, but they are definitely nothing like this film. I kind of felt like, it's gonna be compared… like people are going to ask me questions about it. Let's embrace that and just do a little wink, you know, a cheeky wink and friendly middle finger!"

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Stars Oparah and Jonsson were both thrilled to share the screen with Firth – even if it was only a blink-and-you'll-miss-it appearance – and during an interview with RadioTimes.com they each explained their initial reactions to finding out about his role.

"It was just insane," said Oparah. "I was just like 'Woah', but also I was like damn that was such an amazing baton pass – to have someone who's in the quintessential British romcoms just being like, yeah, I want to support this movie, just for the sake of supporting it."

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Jonsson added: "Oh man – yeah, I definitely died. I just thought it was, you know, he's absolutely incredible. And he was so humble, so kind and giving and it was like just a dream. And he gave us the best bits of advice for our career – like a real career – and hopefully we use them!"

Despite that nod – or "friendly middle finger", as she put it – to classic British romcoms, Allen-Miller doesn't think her film fits quite so snugly in the genre, instead standing very much as its own thing.

"When I was sent the script, I never even read it as.... nobody said, 'Hey, this is a romcom!' I just read it," she said. "And it was funny, and it just so happened to have some romance there, you know – but the romcom genre has become this thing, when actually for me it's just a funny film with some romance.

"But what I did enjoy was that everyone was calling it a romcom, and I hated that," she added. "And I think that energy, you know... often if I really don't like something, I sort of go into it with optimism, like, 'I'm going to do something that isn't this with a smile.' So for me, it was like, 'Okay, maybe it's a romcom, but this is going to be my version of a romcom!'"

Rye Lane is in UK cinemas from Friday 17th March 2023. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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