Synopsis: Three years past his divorce, veteran novelist Bill Borgens (Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear) can’t stop obsessing over, let alone spying on, his ex-wife Erica (Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly), who ignominiously left him for another man. Even as his neighbor-with-benefits, Tricia (Kristen Bell) tries to push him back into the dating pool, he remains blind to anyone else’s charms. Meanwhile, his fiercely independent collegiate daughter Samantha (Lily Collins) is publishing her first novel while recoiling at the very thought of first love with a diehard romantic (Logan Lerman); and his teen son Rusty (Nat Wolff) is trying to find his voice, both as a fantasy writer and as the unexpected boyfriend of a dream girl with unsettlingly real problems. As each of these situations mounts into a tangled trio of romantic holiday crises, it brings the Borgens to surprising revelations about how endings become beginnings.
Release Date: June 14, 2013 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Romance, Drama
There are love stories that take place between teenagers, adults, married couples, and twenty-somethings. Director Josh Boone combines all four directions in the finely drawn Stuck In Love. Opening with the song “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros shows a promising start for the film, and it will become an underlining theme, that of home, throughout Stuck In Love.
One family, multiple romantic dilemmas, is a way to sum up Stuck In Love. The father, Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear from Green Zone) is still obsessed with his ex-wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly of He’s Just Not That Into You) to the point of stalking. He has made it a habit of peeking in on her windows to see what life she leads with her new younger beau. Bill needs to move on but its far more complicated because he believes that it is his duty to wait for Erica; a promise they gave to one another years ago–even if it does not look like she is ever coming home. Their twenty-one year-old daughter Samantha (Lily Collins from Mirror Mirror) is quite the opposite of a hopeless romantic. Promiscuous would be the term used most likely, or you can see her as deeply afraid of commitment and therefore she specifically chooses men with whom a future is impossible. That is, until she meets Lou (Logan Lerman from The Perks Of Being A Wallflower), who is everything she tries to avoid but he isn’t going away anytime soon. Finally there is the youngest of the family, teenager Rusty (Nat Wolff) who is in love with the popular girl in school–who also just happens to have some serious substance abuse problems. She mutters to him one evening, “you’re going to be good for me” and you instantly know trouble is on the horizon for Rusty. These are the Borgens, some more romantic than others, all equally tormented by love. Three of them also just happen to be writers, a very important element to the story as words on a page, a phrase spoken eloquently, an emotion struck to paper, is partly how the narrative is presented.
With an attune sense of how to present a familial drama that is a romance, with douses of comedy and tragedy scattered throughout, Stuck In Love makes good on its promise to evoke emotions from the viewer. The movie shows love as it is, a complicated set of emotions. Each character represents a different type of love, a different place in time and how being in love changes. The ending may be a bit far-fetched when reality is at play but upon reconsideration it actually makes complete sense. This is after all a movie about writers, about people who welcome experiences in life. What happens may be momentous, tragic, depressing, heartbreaking, or overwhelmingly romantic–its life, and imagining one where everything does in fact fit together in the end creating a happy ending is perfectly acceptable.
To build a movie around a family you need to make sure every actor has the necessary chemistry to make it believable that they are indeed related. Stuck In Love does a great job of pairing the respective love interests, but its misses the mark ever so slightly with one of the most important relationships in the film, that of father and daughter with Collins Samantha and Kinnear’s Bill. The scene where this lack of chemistry, of a believable connection, becomes most obvious takes place on the beach. A simple walk along the water as Bill and Samantha discuss their current states should bond the two together in the viewer’s eyes. Instead, it is awkward and has the feeling of two people being forced to have an intimate moment. Its an unfortunate hiccup in an otherwise well-cast film because everyone else fits together nicely.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Josh Boone
- Screenwriter(s): Josh Boone
- Cast: Logan Lerman (Lou)Lily Collins (Samantha Borgens)Jennifer Connelly (Erica) Kristen BellGreg Kinnear (Williams Borgens)Nay Wolff (Rusty Borgens)Liana Liberato (Kate)
- Editor(s): Robb Sullivan
- Cinematographer: Tim Orr
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: Mike Mogis
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA