Monday, January 4, 2010

Movie Review - Love Happens (2009)

This 2009 romantic drama is written and directed by Brandon Camp (of tv show John Doe fame) and stars Aaron Eckhart as Burke Ryan, a successful self-help book author who tours speaking at sold out venues, doling out advice on coping with the loss of loved ones a la Tony Robbins style. Still coping with the loss of his own wife, Burke travels to Seattle and meets Eloise (Jennifer Aniston), a free spirit who works as a flourist. However, Burke, never having taken his own advice is unable to fully open up to Eloise even though she may be the one person who can save him.

So yeah, Love Happens is a by-the-numbers romantic drama, with twists and turns that the viewer will see coming from every corner. There's no new ground explored, or perceptions challenged. However, what you will find with this movie is an engaging look at a man who once lost everything, and now successful, can't move on or be happy. Burke and Eloise feel like real breathing people, real adults with real sets of problems that everyone can relate to. Sure the movie can be bit of a downer since it deals with coping and loss, and sure the payoff may want you to call for a refund, but Love Happens deserved to have done better than it did at the Box Office (Universal gave this movie with big stars a small indie release, or as many in the industry know it as "dumping").

However I will say this, if it was not for the standout performances and charm of the two leads (Eckhart and Aniston) there would be no reason to see this movie and it would have been a total mess. However because Eckhart and Aniston work so well together, you become invested in their charcater's lives and root for them to finally find happiness. The best recommendation I can say for this move is, "if you go in with low expectations you might be midly surprised", which is something I wish I could say for a lot of movies. Can a world exist where Two-Face finds happiness? Well in the world of Love Happens, hell, you root for heads all the way.

No comments: