Love Happens is a movie supposedly starring Jennifer Aniston. The problem is Jennifer is MIA in the film. She is barely seen on screen while Aaron Eckhart's character gets most of the scenes and is certainly the focus of the film. Heck Dan Fogler, who plays Eckhart's sidekick, is seen more than Jennifer. This makes Aniston fans very unhappy. Oh and the movie is terrible too.
Burke Ryan (Eckhart) is a self help guru. He tours the country promoting his new book and holding seminars to help people get over grief. One day he arrives in Seattle. He is not happy to be here but his manager Lane (Fogler) has booked him there. We know by the pained expression in Ryan's eyes that something bad happened to him in this city.
Turns out his wife died there and Ryan is not yet over her death even though it has been three years and he tells everyone at his seminars he has. She was killed in a car wreck and he still grieves for her. So when he meets pretty, perky Eloise (Aniston), who is a florist, he is not ready for a relationship
The rest of the movie deals with Ryan coming to terms with his grief and anger. Eloise is mostly an observer from the sidelines. Every once in a while she utters some words of wisdom but not many.
Eckhart has some good moments as Ryan but his character never really connects with Jennifer's. It is like they are appearing in two separate movies. Aniston is still in "Rachel" from Friends mode and is cute, cuddly and wears nice clothes. The best acting in the film is by John Carroll Lynch who plays a man trying to get over the death of his son. He actually seems to be having real grief problems.
Fogler is annoying in the movie and Martin Sheen is embarrassing. Let's not talk about his role as Ryan's father in law. They could have left this character out and the movie would have been just as good, which is pretty bad.
After you leave the theater you realize that nothing in the movie made any sense. It all falls apart in retrospect. Maybe if they had let us see more of Jennifer Aniston it wouldn't have mattered so much but they didn't.
The film is rated PG-13 for profanity and adult situations.
How Jennifer Aniston let herself get talked into this hokey movie is a mystery and a half. The plot is lousy and she isn't seen very much at all. It is just Eckhart and his unendurable grief. By the time I left the theater I was grieving, over the time I wasted and the lack of Aniston in the film.
I scored "Love Happens" a happenstance 4 out of 10.
Jackie K. Cooper
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