A Rastafarian reggae singer falls for a Pentecostal gospelist in “One Love,” a wannabe Romeo & Juliet yarn set in the easy-come, easy-go culture of small-town Jamaica. Decorated with plenty of music, this amiable but simplistically scripted pic from the helming duo behind “Dancehall Queen” (1997) looks to have a short, sharp career in highly specific markets where names like lead actor/singer Ky-mani Marley (son the late Bob) will resonate.
Marley (“Shottas”) plays Kassa McKennon, a struggling musician whose small band hopes to win a talent contest and nab a recording contract from shady producer Selector G (Winston Bell).
A fellow contestant is Serena (Cherine Anderson), a sweet young Christian whose fire-breathing pastor father (Winston Stona) wants her to marry fellow congregation member Aaron (Idris Elba) instead of some Rasta reggae bum. When Selector G blocks Kassa’s entry into the competition and steals his music, some mild action follows.
Anderson, the sexually abused teen in “Dancehall Queen,” makes an OK female lead but isn’t helped by Marley’s mumbling perf. Technically, pic is fine at a low-budget level. Project originally started life as a musical stage show set in Bristol, England.