Leo Leigh’s first feature film tells the story of a woman in her fifties, looking for love
Whether in recent years dating apps have been legitimized, the world of contemporary relationships might not be as easy as it looks, for a woman in her fifties. That’s the case of Sue, the main character of Leo Leigh’s first feature film, Sweet Sue, which debuted at Rome Film Fest on October 25, in the Progressive Cinema Competition.
In the film, actress Maggie O’Neill (Shameless, White Lines) plays a very interesting leading character: a mature woman without children who runs a party decorations shop in London. She is dealing with the adults’ problems: her mother’s dementia, and the loss of his brother. Nevertheless, she hopes to find happiness with a new partner. The online dating experience is discouraging, but everything changes when, at her brother’s funeral, she meets Ron (played by Tony Pitts), an intriguing but shy biker, who surrenders to her interest. The two seem to like each other and they soon become a couple.
At the start of their relationship, Sue knows little about Ron. One day, she finds out he has a son: Anthony (Harry Trevaldwyn), a vivacious vlogger, and influencer with a huge passion for dance. If the two seem to get along at first, Sue becomes Anthony’s public enemy after a misunderstanding. Will the trio become a real last-minute family or is it another of Sue’s illusions?
Sweet Sue focuses on love, but it is a film about relationships: it’s about the friends and peers people choose to surround themselves with when they get older.
Despite being a comedy-drama, the film is rife with a heavy melancholy that leads it more on the sad side. There’s quality in the storyline, but it is somehow intermittent: O’Neill is fantastic and Sue’s character profile is pleasing, as we get to know her strengths and vulnerabilities. But sometimes it feels like we might know more about Ron and Anthony’s weaknesses and where they come from.
In the end, Sweet Sue is a good film, even if it leaves its viewers with a sort of unsatisfied hunger.