Stuck in Love is about a family of writers dealing with new and lost love. That sounds like an invitation for the most pretentious movie of the decade and for the first ten minutes, I thought it was.
However, the rest of the movie sucked me in. Stuck in Love is one of those small movies that flies under the radar but has enough charm, insight and pleasurable moments to make it worth a watch.
Greg Kinnear stars as a middle aged writer that has been stuck in the past for far too long. He’s still waiting on his ex-wife to return to him, but she’s moved on and remarried. His son and daughter have their own troubles with love and are also writers taking after their old man. The question of the film becomes: can they find the happiness their father has lost and hold on to it?
The best part about the film are the performances. Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Collins and Nat Wolff are pitch perfect as the family in question. The rest of the cast is pretty great, too. These are roles that could have easily become self parody if not played right, but the whole cast seems to understand the material and they all pull off their roles quite nicely.
Writer/director Josh Boone isn’t able to say anything extremely profound or new with this film, but he is able to present some pretty interesting characters and examine love and family in a fresh context. A story as broad as this one could have failed pretty easily in the scriptwriting process by becoming self indulgent. Luckily, Boone skips all that and just stays true to his characters.
What keeps Stuck In Love from being a great film and really reaching its potential is that there is too much story. This is one movie trying to examine this family’s dilemma from every angle and trying to juggle multiple relationships on top of insights into a writer’s life. With this much material, it’s almost a disservice to try and cram it all into one film. These characters would have thrived as part of a television series.
The home video’s extras include a director’s commentary and a making of feature.
Stuck in Love is worth a watch on a quiet night with a loved one. It’s not as insightful or poignant as it wants to be, but it’s a serviceable feature that is effective enough to stand out in a crowd.