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Movie Reviews

Stuck In Love




Released: 2013

Directed By: Josh Boone

Starring: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly

Certificate: 15

Reviewed By: Robbie Cooper (

Novelist Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear) has put his writing on hold after separating from his wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly). Instead he spends most of his days reading alone at his beachfront house, and nights in the company of his two kids Samantha (Lily Collins) and Rusty (Nat Wolff) who also happen to be writers themselves.

In a sense, Stuck in Love is the kind of film that sneaks up on you. At first glance, it could be simply discarded as another unconvincing romance piece about a lonely father writer still licking his wounds from his divorce. Not really venturing on any new ground there. When you see Greg Kinnear’s name in the opening credits, your skepticism likely elevates. It’s not because Kinnear is a bad performer by any means, but sometimes he can be a bit over-exaggerated (*cough* As Good as it Gets).

But if you give this a chance you soon realize that its actually a quite endearing piece by Boone that nails the love thing on many angles. Boone has a lot to say about love, at times the film comes off almost like a literary piece. Powered by a good script and sustained by good performances, by the time that you hear the Bon Iver song playing in the background you’re on board with it. Boone really has a good sense of the whole love thing. The introduction with your guard up. Meeting the person who comes on strong, who seems too good to be true. The many attempts to discount the possibility of organic romance and just telling yourself to be a realist. The film also captures some true familial dynamics as well. Sitting with the younger brother on the rooftop, giving advice over a bowl of weed. Boone also effectively captures that very real moment of multiple conflicts colliding between a family as they are about to be stuck in a vehicle together.

Not to say that there aren’t annoying aspects though. To be fair, Samantha’s complete coldness upon meeting the persistent but genuine Louis (the under-rated young actor Logan Lerman from the similar(ish) picture Perks of Being a Wallflower) is frustrating. Also, when the parents come to Rusty’s aid when dealing with a relapsed addict girlfriend it comes off completely like a bad Lifetime channel after-school special piece. But it hits the right beats and should get you out of whatever head-space you happen to be in momentarily. It will hopefully put you that old but familiar state of naive, scary, exciting, heart-beating twenty-something love for a little bit. Or it may remind you of some of the inner-family conflicts of your younger years, which may not be as inviting but at least it’s identifiable.

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