Robert Pattinson is known for his good humor and boyish charm, but he can also be quite the romantic when he wants to be. We can see this in the new movie The Rover, which premiered today at the Toronto International Film Festival. In the film, Pattinson plays a young American who travels Europe in search of adventure and romance, eventually settling down in London.

While in Europe, he befriends a group of young people who become his traveling companions and teach him about life. The movie is the first in a trilogy, and the second part, titled Sex & Romance, will be out in 2021. However, you can watch the romantic moments between Pattinson and Rooney Mara right now, as the film premiered at TIFF today.

The Setting

The main character of The Rover, named Scott, is a young American who leaves the quaint town of Pendleton, Oregon, for the big city of London, England, in the winter of 2018. We hear little about his life before that moment, but we do know that he was previously engaged to be married and had children. He leaves behind his parents, whom he cares deeply for, and several brothers and sisters.

Pattinson’s directorial debut The Rover is based on James Graham’s 2017 novel of the same name, and the screenplay was written by Graham and Nick Dear. The movie was produced by David MacKay and Tim Bevan, who together founded Eyewonderful, the production company behind the new series The English Game and the upcoming comedy Game Night. MacKay and Bevan have also produced several other popular UK shows, including Gavin & Stacey, Fresh Meat, and Delve. It’s clear that they have an eye for talented young British actors and actresses.

The Journey

The journey to London in search of adventure is one of the primary focuses of The Rover. We follow Scott as he makes his way from Pendleton to Seattle, then finally heads north to his ultimate destination. Along the way, he crosses country alone and on foot, which is something we associate with the character. He meets several new people, including an aspiring young boxer (played by Game of Thrones’ Jacob Anderson) and a girl who becomes his traveling companion for a short while. They begin a passionate, if platonic, relationship that develops into something more. As they journey north, they grow closer and discover a more mature side to one another.

Romantic Developments

We can’t talk about The Rover and its romantic developments, since those are the parts that will make the movie more interesting for fans of the novel. But, since the movie is brand new, it will also be interesting for non-readers to discover the many romantic possibilities for this lead character. He does not have the typical good looks of a romantic lead, but he does have a pleasing personality that can either attract women or scare them away. In the novel, Scott is referred to as a “handsome nerd,” which has the ring of truth, since he is intelligent and has an affable manner. He’s exactly what women want in a man.

There’s also the matter of his profession. As we’ve established, Scott is a nerf herder, though he describes it himself as “more like a cowboy than a nerd.” He’s very much into his work and takes his responsibilities seriously, which can also make him seem more mature. In the novel, Scott works as a corporate finance lawyer in Portland. He also has a brief, fling-type of relationship with a colleague named Kim, with whom he shares an unrequited love for a popular YouTube star. We don’t know much about his background, but he does have a brother named Tim who is played by the talented Luke Evans. Evans has also appeared in the Dark Lord: Age of Cthulhu and Godzilla: King of the Monsters, among others.

The journey and the romance are not the only aspects of The Rover that draw inspiration from the source material. The movie is filled with several references to literature and historical figures. We’re given a peek into Scott’s past with the help of an old, battered copy of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, which he carries with him from place to place. He quotes Thoreau frequently and even refers to him as his “personal hero.”

A Life-Changing Discovery

The climax of the movie comes when Scott makes a life-changing discovery. While in London, he runs into an old friend named Ben, with whom he shares a drink and a heartfelt reunion. They begin talking about Scott’s future, and Ben encourages him to follow his heart. Scott begins to consider his options, realizing that he has never truly committed to any one pursuit. He has always been interested in many things, which is how he ended up in Oregon in the first place. But now that he has decided to leave his home, he begins to wonder if he will end up following a blissful, quiet life in which he is content or taking the road less traveled and challenging himself.

The choice to leave his home and the decision to follow his heart are what ultimately shape the rest of Scott’s story. While in London, he meets a group of young people who become his traveling companions, or “henchmen,” as he calls them. One of the companions, Will, who is played by the talented newcomer Aml Ameen, draws the line in the sand and refuses to let go of his loyalty to Scott’s old football team, the Pendleton Warriors. When these two finally make their way to the game, it’s a battle of wills that pits father against son, and it’ll leave you feeling emotionally drained, but thoroughly satisfied in the end.