Stuck In Love Review

Stuck In Love

Stuck in love.

Three words you don’t usually see put together like that.

And three words that now stab into the very heart of me.

First thing’s first – I missed the first half hour of this film.

For no good reason.

But Stuck In Love is the kind of film where I doubt I missed out on that much.

William Borgens is successful writer, a professor, a father of two mostly grown up children and a separated husband of three years to his estranged wife Erica.

And, even though he’s got a fuck buddy to take the edge off the breakdown in his marital relations, William still pines tor his ex.

I guess sometimes you just can’t help the way you feel about someone, especially when you know they have your number.

Unfortunately for Will, Erica’s altogether less keen on that whole reconciliation thing; which leaves our sad writer friend kind of in limbo.

Added to this delicate mix are his kids, one of whom is on the verge of eclipsing her father’s writing achievements, while the other suffers under the burden of becoming a writer that his dad’s placed upon him.

Still, as the title of this film may suggest, both of William’s children are also stuck in love.

Written and directed by Josh Boone, Stuck In Love is a melodramatic look at the effect true love is supposed to have on people.

Stuck In Love

So there’s William, played by Greg Kinnear, who refuses to give up on the love he found with his estranged wife Erica, even though it’s been three years since said estrangement kicked in.

There’s Erica of course, played by Jennifer Connolly, who doesn’t feel the love she now has with that boy she fell for all those moons ago is enough now.

And then there are their two children Samantha and Rusty, played by Lily Collins and Nat Wolff respectively.

Jaded by their parents’ separation and hating her mother, Samantha’s solution to her childhood is to never pick a boy she can fall in love with.

That way, she’ll never get hurt again.

And there’s some crazy girl logic to that.

Rusty, on the other hand, takes the opposite path and throws himself into a relationship with a girl he’s crazy about, even though she’s weighed down by more red flags then you could shake a, ah, big red flag at.

Which makes Stuck In Love sound like it should have been a good film, but it doesn’t really pan out that way.

This is partly because Boone moves some parts of the story along so quickly just so we can get to the next melodramatic hit, that it doesn’t even make sense.

Like the two months that elapse in the space of a 30 second montage of Rusty’s life.

But mostly, it’s because the characters Boone’s created and their subsequent actions never feel real.

Stuck In Love is some sort of hyper reality that already has a predetermined end, and everything that happens in between doesn’t really have to make sense, as long as it gets to its destination as quickly as is humanly possible.

Which is a shame, because when you really do get stuck in love, things never work like that.

It’s always surprising, and beautifully so, even if you don’t get what you expected.

Or even what you deserve.

Jonathan Campbell

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June 2013
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