Stuck In Love Blu-ray Review
STUCK IN LOVE doesn’t offer anything new on love and relationships. There are few surprises to be had here. Having said all of that, I really enjoyed this movie. It moved me on several occasions. I don’t think of myself as a hopeless romantic or one that easily gets emotional, so when a film does this I certainly take notice.
STUCK IN LOVE features a family of writers going through various trials and tribulations. Greg Kinnear plays Bill Borgens, a novelist who had some success with his first two novels. For the last few years, Bill has not written a word. He is still reeling from his divorce from Erica (Jennifer Connelly). Lily Collins is their collegiate daughter Sam, who is getting her first book published. Sam is still having problems with the breakup of the family and mainly blames her mother for it. She acts out on this by being promiscuous and not pursuing any meaningful relationships. Rusty (Nat Wolff) is youngest of the brood. He also is a writer and he’s been pining in school for Kate (Liana Liberto).
Director/Screenwriter Josh Boone has a good ear for dialogue. Everything feels authentic coming from these characters. He has said that some of the material is autobiographical and it shows. This is Boone’s first feature, but you wouldn’t know it. He has a nice command of the camera to go along with the dialogue that he created.
Bill is in a rut. In one of the early scenes, they show him setting a place for his ex-wife for Thanksgiving. Bill still thinks she will come back to him after time away from him. He does have a casual fling going with his married neighbor Tricia (Kristen Bell). It is just merely a physical relationship with no substance involved. Sam wants him to move on from his pining for his ex-wife and get out in the dating world again. She has resentment for her mother that is explained in more detail later in the film. On the other hand, Rusty still has a good relationship with his mother. Erica wants to reach out to her daughter, but doesn’t know how. They haven’t talked in over a year.
There is a nice scene where Bill tells Rusty that he has to have experiences to become a good writer. Rusty does this by starting a whirlwind romance with Kate. Rusty sticks up for her at a party and she is taken away by his chivalry. There is danger lurking though because Kate has a bad drug problem that she’s trying to deal with. Kate thinks she can run from her addictions by dating Rusty. He provides a warm and gentle embrace from her fast world that she had been living. I don’t think Boone is quite successful with the addiction angle. It gets touched on here and there, but it seems it is put in to create some conflict in the end.
Sam has her own issues with romance. She doesn’t believe in it. She jumps from bed to bed and gets satisfaction that way. Along comes Louis (Logan Lerman) to change her perception of that. Louis is what you would consider to be a nice guy. He’s also a writer and he pursues Sam earnestly. At first he is unsuccessful. But we all know how that will turn out. There is a nice chemistry between Collins and Lerman that you can’t fake.
The story isn’t perfect as constructed by Boone, but I like how it goes along. There is an evolution in these characters as they navigate through life. Bill tries to figure out how to go on from his failed marriage and decide even if he should. Erica also has to sort through things in her life and whether she wants to go back to the well trodden path. Sam and Rusty have their own growing up to do. Yes most of it is predictable, but I did appreciate some ambiguous material in the closing scenes. Everything isn’t spelled out for you in the conclusion which is appreciated.
STUCK IN LOVE is a good movie about second chances, redemption, family and finding your way in this hectic world that we live in.
STUCK IN LOVE BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: North Carolina is beautifully captured on screen. The blues of the water and the sky stand out nicely on the transfer.
Audio: The sound is nice, crisp and concise.
The Making of Stuck in Love (27:42): The director, producer and most of the cast talk about the story, the cast and working with a first time director. Jennifer Connelly is the notable exception here.
Commentary with Director/Screenwriter Boone and Wolff: It’s an easy going commentary with these two people. Boone discusses the various aspects of making the film, while Wolff focuses more on the scenes.