Love Happens

Global warming, that’s nothing… What about the world story shortage? It’s clearly acute, or else why did Brandon Camp (who also directs) and Mike Thompson decide to write a romcom about bereavement? Killing off the wife is one way to ensure your hero is available, but ‘Love Happens’ is more concerned with the shit that happens than in love of any kind.

Burke (Aaron Eckhart), a psychologist whose wife died in a car crash, wrote a self-help manual to get through it; three years on, he’s a bereavement guru, back in Seattle to lead a pack of heartsore conventioneers back to health via group therapy and, er, walking on hot coals. Nobody in the film finds the latter weird, not even Eloise (Jennifer Aniston), a cute florist who is increasingly interested in Burke despite his almost total inability to interact. Aniston is endearingly natural, but she and Eckhart lack chemistry and anyway, the filmmakers are far more interested in the mourners than the would-be lovers. Even Burke’s pushy but genuine agent, Lane (Dan Fogler), gets more face time than our Jen, and the waste of Martin Sheen, as Burke’s father-in-law, is at least as cruel as any of the twists that deprived these folk of their relatives.

The script feels as if a bad writer had sat on a better one: ‘Men are… hairy,’ Eloise’s friend says knowingly, shortly before we all plod off for redemption at Home Depot. The sorrowing widower is a great subject for film romance; but the point is to let the girl have a proper crack at cheering him up. And, as always with love, a GSOH would help.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday October 9 2009
Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

This film doesn't over impress, it is a short lived memory of a guy making a killing from his book on how he deals with the death of his wife - but there's a whole part of her death he has bottled up despite his cheerful stage persona whilst exhorting the bereaved to move on; he truly hasn't. His false life earns him a cutting rebuke from his ex-father in law - "You're a hippocrite" he yells into Burke's face. You get to see lots of rain in this movie - it is based in Seattle after all, and air-shots of the, 60's and ugly, Space Needle feature a fair amount. The film has strength in being a lot better than many of the pre-Xmas dross currently clogging our cinemas and the parrot scenes are fun.