Dom (David Jonsson) spends a day in London with Yas (Vivian Oparah). Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute

January 29 (UPI) — rye lane, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, harkens back to the early days of independent films when people made movies about people talking. The new film adds a few flourishes to break up the dialogue, which both work.

Dom (David Jonsson) is crying in the bathroom after his breakup with Gia (Karene Peter) when Yas (Vivian Oparah) hears it. Dom and Gia spend the day wandering around London, getting to know each other and helping each other move forward.

With a man and a woman strolling through the city, rye lane feels like a british Richard Linklater film. Instead of his Before sunrise/sunset/midnight walks and talks, Dom and Yas enjoy a stroll and conversation through London locations.

rye lane doesn’t rely entirely on Dom and Yas’ dialogue, however. As they tell each other their stories, the film returns to the respective ruptures that they each describe.

Additionally, Dom reacts to Yas’ story, and vice versa, in cinematic fantasies. For example, an audience full of Doms watches the story of Yas unfold in a movie theater.

Dom and Yas enjoy misadventures stalking each other’s exes. Yas accompanies Dom to settle things with Gia and her new boyfriend, Eric (Benajmin Sarpong-Broni).

Things don’t turn out so satisfactorily when the duo try to get back Yas’ property left behind at her ex’s apartment. It’s still fun for the audience.

The themes of rye lane are quite universal. Yas teaches Dom to be more spontaneous and take chances, but the film has enough unique touches to set it apart.

Yas misses a job interview to continue her day with Dom. In his defense, they postponed it. She’s not on call for them yet and the job interview isn’t a sure thing, so sometimes a chance encounter is more valuable.

A few British film stars appear in unexpected cameos as Dom and Yas cruise through town.

The widescreen bezel rounds the side edges, indicating anamorphic lenses. It’s a very technical observation inside baseball, but the effect evokes classic movies that viewers will recognize overtly or unwittingly.

rye lane brings a lively local and personal touch to the “two people getting to know” genre. These two charismatic performers, along with director Raine Allen Miller and writers Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia, will be ones to watch in the future.

Searchlight Pictures will publish rye lane March 31 on Hulu.

Fred Topel, who attended film school at Ithaca College, is a Los Angeles-based UPI entertainment writer. He has been a professional film critic since 1999, a Rotten Tomatoes critic since 2001, and a member of the Television Critics Association since 2012. Read more about his work in Entertainment.