“Love Happens” So Does Pain – But It’s A OKAY!

Genres: Comedy, Drama and Romance
Running Time:
1 hr. 49 min.
Release Date:
September 18th, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for some language including sexual references.
Universal Pictures

Directed by: Brandon Camp

JJ Rating: B+

Burke Ryan (Aaron Eckhart) is a person that helps others with the tragic deaths of loved ones. Since he had one himself and wrote something that helped him get through it, he thought he’d share it in book form. People LOVED it and then he started doing workshops. He ends up meeting Eloise (Jennifer Aniston) at one of the hotels where he holds a workshop. He helped others so much he didn’t seem to know how to help himself and Eloise saw that, said it and proceeded to help. Love Happens.

I cannot stand to read many people’s reviews of many movies that I see because it seems that they always want perfection, something that is flawless and thought provoking so much so that philosophy class would gobble it up and poop it out with the likes of Socrates and Jesus. I like my movies to have some sort of flaw just like I like people who are not afraid of their flaws. I do not hold my highest grade for the near godlike perfection of cinema, because that just doesn’t exist. If I were to state what movie is close to that kind of perfection it would be Doubt, but if I only held out for movies like Doubt to do that I’d be as embittered as most critics are. I like to have fun and have emotion and passion for any and every kind of movie, therefore my grades are more based on how the movie makes me feel and I try really hard not to compare it to others because that tends to screw with my grading.

Love Happens is a bad name for this film. I think it could have done a little better on the title. I have the hardest time remembering this one when someone asks me what movie I saw over the weekend. I state, “Oh that new one with Jennifer Aniston.” I don’t state Aaron Eckhart because even though he was in The Dark Knight he isn’t well known as he should be for the many great roles he’s been in. I don’t know what it could have been called. I just know that this title is hard to remember.

The chemistry between Aniston and Eckhart is there and it works and it’s glue. It convinced me that the movie was better than I expected. The scene with him being nosey and looking through copies of cards that were in flowers that she has saved is one of those connecting moments. It’s a simple powerful scene showing that just maybe there is hope for something as simple and quick as Twitter. Eckhart’s moment with the parrot was great. There was a lot of back and forth that could be seen working inside his head more so than the physical aspect of him teetering on his feet deciding whether or not to go back. It was pleasant to see Dan Fogler, who played Lane Burke’s manger, be a little more serious and less wacky. It worked and he’s an iatrical part of the entire film. I have to mention John Carroll Lynch who played Walter the man that lost his son. I can’t go into more detail than that, and that’s almost giving more away than necessary, but he gave a very moving performance. My heart broke all over again when I heard his story. I lost a friend due to a motor cycle accident this year. I am friends with his mother so then I had a friend that lost a son and when I saw and heard Walter’s story it was more moving. Coupled with Lynch’s great acting and recent (enough) events it was hard not to lose tears.

Love Happens has a lot of great moments and it even has great moments that last all the way to the very end of the film. If someone has lost someone recently it might be a difficult film to sit through in some parts, but it sprinkles in the humor enough that it’s not a total tearful movie. It’s an amusing film, it’s a loving film, it’s a moving film and it’s an entertaining film. It has a lot of aspects to it that will make it enjoyable for those that are not rot with the need for perfection. So as a reoccurring phrase goes I the film it’s A OKAY!

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