Love Happens (12A)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner07/10/2009

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 109 mins

Disappointing drama that fails to convince on an emotional level, thanks to dull direction, some poor performances and a cliche-laden, badly-thought out script.

What's it all about?
Co-written and directed by Brandon Camp, Love Happens (annoying generic title, annoying generic movie) stars Aaron Eckhart as Dr. Burke Ryan, who has huge guilt issues because he has turned the “lemon” of the death of his wife in a car accident into the “lemonade” of a successful career as a self-help guru, helping people deal with grief and loss. When he comes to Seattle to teach a sold-out seminar, Burke has an awkward first (and second) encounter with florist Eloise (Jennifer Aniston), who’s recently sworn off men, and the pair gradually decide to give each other a chance.

However, Burke's reaction to the unexpected appearance of his father-in-law (Martin Sheen) makes it clear that he's hiding something much darker than just his guilt over his successful career. Will Eloise be able to help him finally open up and confront his own demons?

The Good
To be fair, the two leads are fine; Aniston's a little more angry here than we're used to seeing her, which works well, whilst Eckhart does the best he can to make Burke likeable, despite some fairly unpleasant details. More successful are the ever-reliable Judy Greer as Aniston's wisecracking best friend and John Carroll Lynch as a grief-stricken seminar attendee.

The Bad
That said, Martin Sheen (looking oddly pink and shiny throughout) gives a dreadful, overly sentimental performance, though he at least has the good grace to look embarrassed about it. However, the biggest problem is that the film lacks any emotional depth and fails to convince as a result.

In addition, the film suffers from a bad case of mis-marketing – it's much more a supposedly emotional drama about Burke confronting his demons than a Jennifer Aniston romcom and there's very little romance in it. Sadly, the film's problems don't end there – the cliched script is utterly predictable from beginning to end, whilst Camp struggles to breathe any life into his endless scenes of characters earnestly talking things through.

Worth seeing?
Anyone expecting the Jennifer Aniston romcom that the posters and trailer seem to promise is going to be bitterly disappointed. There's a four-letter word happening here all right, but it sure isn't love.

Film Trailer

Love Happens (12A)
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Content updated: 21/03/2019 22:49

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