13th July 2020 (UK VOD Premiere)
Masters of Love gives a raw, poignant and hilarious insight into the lives of a group of Londoners as they try to navigate their way through the minefield known as 'Love'.
Ciaran Dowd, Rosalind Adler, David Alderman, Mario Bob
Masters of Love follows five twentysomething friends as they navigate the unpredictable waters of romance in the British Captial. Fun-loving Emmy (Sarah Ovens) is about to be married to her girlfriend Samantha (Eleanor Fanyinka), but fears things may be moving too fast. Her brother Josh (Owen Roberts) is recovering (badly) from breaking up with the woman he was about to ask to marry and living life through a lens as he puts on a brave front to host his own online food review show. Josh’s friend Niall (Ciaran Dowd; Fighting With My Family) makes his own living trying to make others laugh while struggling to find his own happiness as a stand-up comedian, occasionally engaging in awkward fumbles with friends-with-benefits girl Lily (Bekka Bowling).
Rarely have characters been written so authentically as people as they are in Masters of Love. They’re distinctly different from each other yet retain the relatability. Masters of Love has an excellent command of its characters. They’re inherently flawed but it’s impossible not to root for their success. I guarantee you’ll have experienced at least one cringe-inducing situation that these people find themselves in: I certainly have.
From awkwardly elaborate first dates to immediate post-breakup reactions that would seem downright insane to an outsider, Masters of Love covers the sometimes good, mostly bad and the frequently ugly sides of the perilous world of dating and indeed friendships in general.That’s not to say it doesn’t feature any schmaltz. It’s far from a pessimistic perspective. When the fivesome do experience the best that love has to offer, it feels wholesomely earned and I challenge you not to feel your own heart swell, eyes water and feel a smile form when things go well for them.
Performances are phenomenal all round, with Sarah Ovens’ Emmy a real highlight as she wrestles with the idea of holding on to her partying days as opposed to settling down with the more ‘traditional’ route in life of marriage, kids and a seven-seater car with her fiancee Sam (in another excellent turn by one-to-watch Eleanor Fanyinka). Initially introduced as a man-child, Ciaran Dowd’s extraordinary talent for illustrating the ordinary eventually adds a layer of maturity to Niall when a startling revelation threatens to destroy a strong connection of his. An exceptional Bekka Bowling as Lily is sure to divide opinions on her intentions and whether she’s as either knowingly conniving or blissfully unaware of potential damage she is causing.
It’s Owen Roberts’ Josh I felt the most sorry for though. While his response to the breakup culminates in a wildly inappropriate action, I can totally understand why he does it. I felt especially sorry for the guy as he fights for a place in the fiercely competitive, take-more-than-it-gives social media market, where trends come and go quicker than a bottle of wine on a particularly heavy night, all while struggling to heal a broken heart. Roberts effortlessly switches from a pained expression to an artificially plastered smile in the blink of an eye – or more specifically, the click of a button.
It’s a theme that runs through Masters of Love for each character. They’re all putting on fronts or hiding their true feelings for concern of how they will be received. Revealing them is the hardest thing to do, and as we see, sometimes those fears that come with outing harsh truths aren’t always unfounded.
For me, thanks to the realistic portrait it paints of relationships, it should easily be mentioned in the same conversations as Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s hit BBC series Fleabag and other influential British comedies series like Coupling and Cold Feet. Incredibly, Masters of Love manages to cram a series worth of character development into an all-too-short 85 minutes, making it a whirlwind affair to remember.
I honestly cannot recommend Masters of Love enough. It’s endearingly sweet, refreshingly realistic in its portrayal of love in London and filled with legitimate characters – nay, people, to both laugh at and with.
Masters of Love is available on UK Digital Platforms from 13th July 2020 through Signature Entertainment.
Covers every facet of relationships - the good, bad and ugly
Laugh out loud funny