Rom-Coms get a bad wrap. They may not be winning any awards, and they may be written off as non-intellectual fluff by the masses, but many of my most enjoyable film-watching experiences have come with a bowl of popcorn and a good Romantic Dramedy.
They don’t ask too much of you as a viewer, and there’s (sometimes) something that is true to life and universal in the mixture of humor, heartbreak, and focus on relationships. A friend from work recommended Stuck in Love and I’m glad she did – it’s poignant, sad, clever, funny, and strikes a great balance between showing what young love, marriage, and divorce can be like.
The story centres on a family of writers, still picking up the pieces after an ugly divorce. Successes, failures, and ‘experiences’ impact each character differently on their route to understanding, accepting, and navigating what it means to love and be loved.
The film stars Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins, Nat Wolff, and Logan Lerman. If Greg Kinnear didn’t sell it for you, you probably have deep-seeded emotional issues. That man is so likeable it’s practically criminal. Lily Collins is insanely beautiful (how can you not just stare, mouth-gaping when she’s on the screen?) and Nat Wolff is so charming. He reminds me a bit of Keir Gilchrist (of It’s Kind of A Funny Story and Marshall in US of Tara) and brings a perfectly executed awkwardness and vulnerability to his role as Rusty. I even liked Jennifer Connelly in this film, who I’m usually not very fond of (or maybe it was just a scarring Noah experience that has left a bad taste in my mouth). Lerman is adorable and it’s difficult not to smirk when he enters the frame.
The first scenes worried me with the clichéd feature of holidays, done-before student reading poem in front of the class scene, and let-me-see-your-budget astounding beachfront house. But somewhere between the first ten minutes and the next, I became entranced and engaged in the subtlety of the performances, the urge to jot down every book referenced, and the push and pull of giggling and reaching for Kleenex.
Check it out, you won’t be sorry!