I am exactly what this film is targeted for, yet sometimes romantic comedies go so far, that even I can’t stomach it. Love Happens is the story of Burke Ryan (Aaron Eckhart), who is living on the fame and fortune of his self help book, “I’m A- Okay” which is a guide to grieving and moving on with your life after the loss of a loved one.
It is obvious from the start that Ryan has personal issues of his own from his own past and seems to ignore all of the great advice he gives to his readers. He is flown into Seattle for a weekend seminar to help others in a workshop environment, where he bumps into Eloise (Jennifer Aniston) and instantly there is a spark.
He doesn’t enjoy being in Seattle as this is where his life was before his wife died in a very brutal car accident. He decides to make the most of it and ask Eloise out for some coffee and she blows him off by acting deaf.
We start to see a little of her life in that she dates all of the wrong guys and runs a flower shop, but other than that, she is kept mysterious to seem more unpredictable and stubborn while always seeming so cute and bouncy. She manages to play the role how you would expect Aniston to in any movie like she has done before, but really gives nothing more.
Burke Ryan begins to have to deal with his emotional issues out loud as he seems to be shutting down by bottling things up. This is what the movie is really focused on, not a budding romance. She is just the catalyst to his deep-seeded issues. If not for the name of the film, and the direction this film landed in, this would have been a very sad, but uniquely brilliant film. Aaron Eckhart always does “suit” so well, so this film was no exception for him, as he is a salesman of sorts, and he always has the looks to put ladies in the seats, but it is truly the breakthrough that his character experiences that make this film worthwhile.
Although, we can’t have a rom-com, or any kind of heart-felt movies any more, it seems, without the dreaded “slow clap” and this was no exception. Just when I thought the movie had redeemed itself and come full circle, they had to pull it back with the “slow clap.” Other than that, it was predictable, but good for your average romantic comedy.
Supporting actors included Martin Sheen as Ryan’s father in law and he provides an endearing moment or two. There is also John Caroll Lynch as Walter, a seminar attendee, who shares the most about his troubles and forms a bond with Ryan. He did an outstanding job of pulling the tears out of my tear ducts and into my eyes, just enough to cloud them over.
Burke Ryan really does want to help others with their grief, the problem was dealing with his own. He also wants to move on in his dating life with Eloise, but his issues are putting that at a standstill. If you absolutely love either of these actors or just can’t stand to miss any cheesy romantic comedies, then this is the flick for you, as for others, their money can be better spent seeing Jennifer’s Body, which was the best movie of the week.
I give Love Happens 3 “I’m tired of Seattle-based love stories”out of 5.
by Angela Davis