Friday, December 09, 2011


Rive/Harlequin Presents Extra author Heidi Rice finds a compulsive and compelling romance in the wreckage of this violent action drama.

Now, before we get started I should warn everyone that Drive is at times an extremely violent movie. There are sequences in it that literally made me hide my eyes - and I'm a professional film reviewer so not usually at all wussy about screen violence. IMHO, the violence here is depicted to shock, not to excite or titilate, so it isn't what I'd consider gratuitous. And that violence is also in keeping with the shadowy, twilight world in which the film's characters exist.

Ok, public health warning aside, I have to say that this film really moved me. It's beautifully shot, and the faltering romance - between getaway driver Ryan Gosling and prisoner's wife Carey Mulligan - manages to be both subtle and yet wildly erotic, despite the fact that in the course of the film all these two actually have is one kiss. But boy, is that some kiss.

I have to admit, until I saw this movie Ryan Gosling wasn't an actor particularly on my radar. But he's certainly on it now. From the nail-bitingly tense opening action sequence - when he makes a slick getaway from the scene of a botched warehouse robbery - to the burgeoning romance between him and his next-door neighbour I've rarely seen such a controlled and yet compelling performance. This guy is the epitome of the anti-hero, not just a bad boy, but a bad man (verging on a sociopath) who's only really redeeming feature is his loyalty - but as we all know what he really needs in his lonely life is love. Carey Mulligan is the perfect match for him as the young vulnerable single mother who is drawn to this strong, silent man, while also being a little scared of him.

I won't go into the thriller plot, but needless to say it's grim, gritty and does not end well. These are two people adrift in a violent world who's connection comes too late, for both of them. But I've gotta say I was totally mesmerised. And I did at times think of Ryan in this film as a bit of a Presents hero — particularly those dark, brooding and emotionally damaged men that writers such as India Grey and Abby Green and Lynn Raye Harris do so well.

A film I would definitely recommend, if you don't mind a not-so-happy-ending, and you've got a cast-iron stomach!

Heidi's latest book, On the First Night of Christmas, is currently out in the US, the UK and Oz simultaneously. And she's doing a happy dance about that. Come have a chat on her blog, her Facebook page, her website or on Twitter (@HeidiRomRice).


  1. Ryan Gosling wasn't on my radar until I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love so I understand and I really want to see this movie!

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  3. Sorry had to remove that comment after horrendous typo!!

    Sheri, Drive is a really arresting film... Now I'm going to have to go see Crazy Stupid Love, a friend told me his abs are phenomenal in it!!

  4. LOVE this film so much, really evocative. But VERY violent as Heidi said so be warned. x