Movie review: This 'Love' shouldn't have happened
#1 Sep 21, 2009
Love Happens” should be called “Like Happens” due to its deal-breaking lack of a viable love connection.
Heck, it doesn’t even know what city it’s in, purporting to be Seattle when in actuality it was shot in Vancouver, 200 miles to the north in tax-friendly Canada. Still, neophyte director Brandon Camp effectively captures the high notes of Seattle. You know the touristy stuff – Space Needle, The Wall of Gum, Lake View Cemetery, where Bruce and Brandon Lee are buried.
It’s what he doesn’t capture that’s the killer. And that would be the DOA romance that blossoms between the gorgeous Jennifer Aniston (“Marley and Me”) and the even-more-gorgeous Aaron Eckhart (“Thank You For Smoking”).
Co-written by Camp, the son of the guy who directed the “Benji” movies back in the 1970s, and Mike Thompson,“Love Happens” quickly devolves into a cavalcade of cliches trying to pass themselves off as intelligent romantic drama.
You know the routine: Lonely widower with a secret returns to the city where his young wife passed away and out of the blue (Ever notice how things in bad movies always “happen out of the blue?”) he finds a woman who might help him love again.
I’m not sure why he’d want to, given how well he’s profited off his wife’s death through his best-selling, heal-after-loss book titled “A-Okay.”
Poised to become the next Dr. Phil, Eckhart’s Burke Ryan evolves into one of those Tony Robbins-type speakers who in public preaches that alcohol is a Band-Aid, but in private swills from the cathartic waters of Grey Goose. Why? Because he’s a guy with a guilty conscience. Duh!
He’s a fraud and his big secret is so transparent you can figure it out well before the final-act reveal. Equally predictable is the dialogue, which you find yourself reciting to yourself even before the words leave the actors’ lips.
And it’s a good bet you’re saying it with more feeling than that expressed by Aniston’s Eloise Chandler, a quirky florist recently burned by her cheating boyfriend.
She’s sooooo sweet and perfect, she keeps copies of the thoughtful cards that people send out with their flowers.“Life on a 3-by-5,” as she calls it. She also inexplicably writes words like “quidnunc” and “poppysmic” behind paintings on hotel walls.
Ummm. She’s starting to sound more insane than sweet. But that doesn’t bother Burke, who meets her in the Seattle hotel where he’s leading a grief/loss workshop and she’s arranging the floral displays. Their subsequent courtship is worse than implausible, it’s downright boring.
That’s because there is no depth or soul to Aniston’s acting, or at least nothing like there was in “The Good Girl,” still her crowning achievement.
#2 Sep 21, 2009
To make matters worse, Eckhart has more chemistry with Rocky, his late wife’s bird, who Burke – in the process of trying to to set it free – coaxes, pushes, jumps and falls short of punting the animal away. It’s an extended scene wrongly played for laughs.
Like troopers, Eckhart and Aniston forge on, probably in hopes of finding an ounce of meaning in their cardboard characters.
No wonder the lethargy extends to the supporting players, like Martin Sheen (“The Departed”), as Burke’s grieving, bitter, ex-Marine father-in-law; and Dan Fogler (“Good Luck Chuck”) as Burke’s slick manager-confidante.
Fogler delivers a couple of zingers here and there, but he’s otherwise forgetful. Same for usually reliable John Carroll Lynch (“Gran Torino”) as Walter, the guy packing the biggest tearjerker story at Burke’s seminar. But like everything else in the movie, his “recovery” is too tidy.
And we all know, life isn’t that easy. Getting over the death of a loved one is messy stuff, and “Love Happens” has too light a touch to make any of it the least bit believable.
Patriot Ledger writer Dana Barbuto may be reached at [email protected]
LOVE HAPPENS (PG-13 for some language, including sexual references.) Cast includes Aaron Eckhart, Jennifer Aniston, Dan Fogler, Judy Greer, John Carroll Lynch and Martin Sheen. 1 star out of 4.
sometimes its better to get the full picture of the article.
I wonder why vince and mayonaise are not all ove this?
#3 Sep 23, 2009
At one point, I thought for sure,
that during the STANDING
on red hot coals....
that Aaron was going to light up
and smoke a ciggerette and exhale!!!
How do you explain it????
#4 Sep 25, 2009
Funny how they have a space needle in Vancouver just like the one here in Seattle.
It was a good movie. Can't say the same about the review posted here.
#6 Sep 25, 2009
A long time ago, when the critics seem to
want to do or say anything to make
The Fabulous Elizebeth Taylor just GO AWAY,
she fooled everyone, with her wonderful
performance in "Butterfield Eight!"
I have been a fan ever since!!!
After Butterfield Eight, Elizebeth Taylor
could do no wrong!!! There was hit after
wonderful hit movie.
This movie, called "Love Happens," was made
a while back, and kept on the back burner,
Now, if Jen is lucky, maybe "The Bounty,"
will be much better! Then her unloyal fans
will be able to cheer, and resume being
their nasty little miserable selves.
So mean and full of scorn, that you are not
suprised that they do not support Jen's movies.
The Jen Fans make Jen's skin crawl
and they make everyone's skin crawl.
CRAWL to the movie theatre Jen Fans.
Put your money where your mouth it!!!!
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