Love Happens unfortunately suffers from a predilection of wanting to conform to the romantic-comedy formula, when it clearly is not funny.
A Review by Penny V
Aaron Eckhart stars in his first movie post-Batman, as Burke Ryan – a self-help guru who helps people get over the death of a loved one. His impetus? His wife dying in a car accident three years earlier. With his book, A-Okay and his cross-country seminars making waves within the media, Burke is on the precipice of an enterprising deal that will make him a household name.
This is where Jennifer Anniston comes in playing Eloise, a Seattle florist consigned to producing floral arrangements for the same hotel Burke is staying in.
Beginning something of a romance, Eloise finds out that Burke has still not moved on, while he struggles with becoming successful due to his wife’s death.
Angsty and reflective, it would have made for a much better drama than a romantic-comedy as the foils seem shoved into places that don’t below. Take for example, Burke stealing his late wife’s parrot from his new owners, who happen to be his parents’-in-law or Eloise’s quirky employee who performs an overtly sexual poetry slam piece to an elderly customer. It was all yawn-worthy.
There isn’t much to say about Jennifer Anniston’s role as she is glossed over and treated more as eye-candy then an actual person. While trying to capture some aspects of her personality with her wont for scribbling obscure words in secret places, it never really gets addressed. Everything about her is thrown by the wayside for a plot of “will they get together”, when their characters own personal stories would have been far more appealing than making it a last-minute afterthought.
In fact, a secondary character, a father still grieving over the loss of his son, played by John Carroll Lynch showed more emotional depth than the pair who, to be entirely geeky and quote Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, had an emotional range of a teaspoon.
Alas, the romantic-comedy genre is regrettably a double-edged sword and Brandon Camp, writer and director of Love Happens, seemed to have wanted to try his hand at redefining it with collaborator, Mike Thompson. With more self-reflection than any actual comedy, the movie came across as a pile of fluff that was forgettable as soon as I walked out the theatre. Not exactly how you want your debut movie to come across.
Yep: John Carroll Lunch, I might have shed a few tears for his character.
Oh: Where to start…how about having Eloise be more than just two-dimensional?
Verbatim: Burke: Funerals are important rituals. They’re not only recognition that a person has died; they’re recognition that a person has lived.
Thumbs: 2 / 5