Starring a Shailene Woodley-lookalike, Tramps has all the makings of a typical romantic comedy. You’ve got your shy-yet-charming lead in Danny (Callum Turner), and his foil and romantic opposite in Ellie (Grace Van Patten), the street smart girl with a heart of gold.
Tramps has a very traditional story. Boy meets girl, but girl does not like boy. They get caught up in some mess. Boy and girl then learn more about each other. Some drama and stuff in between… Eventually, girl also falls for boy.
Let’s get into some details here. Danny is a Polish boy in New York, living with his mother and brother Darren. As a means of living, Danny and his mom operate a horse-race gambling business attended by their neighbors. One day while having dinner with his mom, Danny receives a call from Darren, who was in jail at the time. Darren had a job to do, but since he was in jain, Darren wanted Danny to do for him, which all sounded very sketchy for Danny. The job was to pick up a suitcase from someone, get into a car, and exchange the suitcase with a lady’s handbag in the metro. Nonetheless, Danny agrees to his brother’s request.
While all of this is happening, Ellie is introduced as an out-of-money girl looking for a break. She gets offered a large amount of money to do a job – that is, to drive some guy from point A to point B, and that’s that.
As destiny dictates, Ellie is the one tasked to drive Danny around town. The problem is, Danny screws up – he gives the suitcase to the wrong lady, Vinessa Wierengo. Danny and Ellie must find a way to get the suitcase back.
Danny and Ellie shine as the leads. They have undeniable chemistry, and that’s what’s most important for a romantic comedy. The way they throw lines at one another is realistic – with Danny trying to sound and appear bigger than he really is to try to impress Ellie, and Ellie initially being very closed off, but eventually opening up as she learns more about Danny.
Danny and Ellie have great chemistry, yes, but I think what shines a little bit more for me is how Tramps is able to swoop us in and around New York City. From the cramped apartment complex that Danny calls his home, to the rich, out-of-the-city luxury home of the Wierengos, to the old-time feel of the carnival, Tramps succeeds with its diversified settings.
Tramps is a rom-com not in the traditional mainstream way; it has a certain indie sensibility in its quietness and realism.
Who Will Like It?
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Tramps has too simple a plot. Viewers looking for a grandiose story might not want to watch this. At the end, it feels as if everything that happened in the movie is inconsequential to the world around Danny and Ellie, and that everything that happened basically only affected Danny and Ellie individually in their viewpoints. Perhaps this is the case, but it would be great if some more screen time was spared for the minor characters Daniel, Danny’s mom, and Scott, and the suitcase recipient, since they are all underdeveloped.
Tramps is a very typical rom-com. The things going for it are that the leads have great chemistry and the cinematography is done right. Probably the ones who would most enjoy the movie are typical rom-com fans. Those looking for high-stakes films and convoluted plots should probably go look for something else. It’s a very light movie with not much action, and puts simple human interaction at the forefront.
The movie sits at a very respectable 94% on RottenTomatoes, with 17 positive reviews and 1 negative review.