Stuck in Love

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Somehow both cynical and romantic at the same time, this romantic drama rides a fine line between realism and treacle. It remains on course thanks to understated performances and a confident hand from writer/director Boone. I’ll be curious to see how his next outing stacks up.

Kinnear (Ghost Town, The Gift) leads the cast and serves as the center support of the film both in plot and emotion. He is the cool artist/dad that rarely really exists but should; but even he is flawed and needs healing. The performance is contained and subtle, but not without power. Surrounding him, Collins (Mirror Mirror) and former Naked Brother member, Wolff (Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding) as his artist-in-training progeny along with ex-wife, Connelly (House of Sand and Fog) create an unusual, but rather believable family dynamic. There are few histrionics, but plenty of real frustration and love.

In addition to the core group, Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Liberato (Erased), and Bell (Burlesque) bring outside influences to incite and heal the main characters. Their performances are all solid, but very much on the periphery of the family dynamic.

Generally, this is a standard set of love stories with some interesting twists and views. It is certainly entertaining and affecting, but it probably won’t become a classic of any kind. I suspect, though, it will impact a small portion of its audience stronger than the rest; writers. How they react to the plot and outcome will vary, but I can’t imagine a single writer not watching this and coming away with a strong response to some aspect. For the rest of the audience, it’s a couple hours enjoyably spent if you’re looking for that warm buzz of romantic love in a world that doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

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