Greg Kinnear is a novelist in this talky American comedy-drama about a family of writers. While his amiable divorcee Bill Borgens is mooning over his ex-wife, Erica (Jennifer Connelly), their daughter Samantha (Lily Collins) is having her first book published, much to the envy of aspiring writer son Rusty (Nat Wolff).
It’s a mildly amusing family saga with strong turns from Kinnear, Connelly and Kristen Bell as Kinnear’s business-like lover. But as this flits from student party to family lunch to book launch, it becomes clear ‘Stuck in Love’ is one of those writerly stories more concerned with showing how clever its characters are than with winning them much sympathy.
Bratty, smart-talking Samantha is a hard character to like and Collins’s self-conscious delivery doesn’t help. Wolff’s teenaged Rusty proves the most likeable as he nervously attempts to woo the cool girl in class – more from him could have given ‘Stuck in Love’ emotional impact. Instead, it’s no more than light entertainment: a smarter-than-average soap opera about self-absorbed academics.