Director: Josh Boone
Stars: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connolly, Lilly Collins, Logan Lerman.
The feeble title of Josh Boone’s indie romantic-comedy will be enough to turn a lot of people’s heads the other way, but Stuck in Love is a charming story about a family of writers, who experience the different shades of love. Novelist Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear), is going through a mid-life crisis and still pining after his ex-wife (Jennifer Connolly), who left him for another man. Despite being unhappy, he is trying his best to be a good father to his high school son, Rusty (Nat Wolff), and college daughter, Sam (Lily Collins). The film navigates through the difficulties and mishaps they face in their everyday lives.
The central trio in the film couldn’t be more different from each other. Bill is a writer in the twilight years of his career, who spends most of his time spying on his ex-wife. Sam is a confident free spirit who avoids relationships at all costs, fearing that she will get hurt like her dad, and she just happens to be on the verge of publishing her first novel. Her brother Rusty, is an introvert with a talent for writing poetry and who’s in love with a girl in his class at school. Sam is very cynical about love and relationships and considers her brother one of those “hopeless romantics”. Nice guy Lou (Logan Lerman) is also thrown into the mix when he meets Sam, and she becomes alarmed by how easily they connect, threatening her anti-relationship principle.
The film interestingly takes us on a journey through all these characters’ intertwined lives. Stuck In Love isn’t particularly urgent but it’s not a slow-burn either. It’s a poignant exploration of a family trying to maintain a firm grip on their lives, whilst experiencing various challenges along the way.
Although there’s no groundbreaking originality here, I really enjoyed watching all these characters develop. The acting in the film is excellent, even from the younger actors, and Logan Lerman and Lilly Collins are the stand-outs. Their performances are effortless and they have so much charisma and likeability, it’s very easy to root for the pair of them. They have sparkling chemistry and the development of their relationship feels very genuine. Some parts of the film are quite gushy and overly sentimental, but it’s definitely not cheesy, or remotely cringe-worthy.
So, is Stuck in Love any different from other romantic-comedies? Well, sort of. The women in the film are presented as much more emotionally stable, whilst the guys are a lot more insecure and “stuck in love”, as the title suggests. This is somewhat a change from the more typical romantic-comedies where it’s the other way around.
Overall: Stuck in Love is a pleasant film and would be very suitable for family viewing if it didn’t contain sexual content and drug abuse. Also, viewers who enjoyed Josh Boone’s The Fault in our Stars (which I thought was overrated by the way), will be satisfied. Despite a few darker moments, this is the type of film that leaves you with a smile on your face. Stuck in Love is a great choice for those of you seeking a touching and cheerful film to watch.
You might also be interested in my review for The Perks of Being a Wallflower.