Love Happens
PG-13
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +1/2

Aaron Eckhart, Jennifer Aniston, Dan Fogler, Judy Greer, Joe Anderson, John Carroll Lynch, Frances Conroy and Martin Sheen. Romantic comedy/drama.   Written by Brandon Camp & Mike Thompson.  Directed by Brandon Camp.

FILM SYNOPSIS: When a self-help author arrives in Seattle to teach a sold-out seminar, he unexpectedly meets the one person who might finally be able to help him help himself. Dr. Burke Ryan (Eckhart) is on the precipice of a major multimedia deal, but the therapist who asks his patients to openly confront their pain is secretly unable to take his own advice.

Eloise Chandler (Aniston) has sworn off men and decided to focus on her floral business.  However, when she meets Burke at the hotel where he’s speaking, there is an instant attraction.  As each struggles with the hurt of love and loss, they realize that in order to move forward, they need to let go of the past.  And if they can, they’ll find that, sometimes, love happens when you least expect it.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Aaron Eckhart is an actor who makes interesting film choices (Thank You For Smoking is a hilarious satire in the league with Dr. Strangelove and The Hospital), Jennifer Aniston is still fun to look at, and the Seattle setting makes you want to move there (even if you have to buy an umbrella every couple of months). What’s more, the film has several touching moments. I actually teared up a few times as we heard the pain in the voices of characters struggling to get over the loss of loved ones. And even thought the ending gets a bit soppy and predictable, still I enjoyed the film. I got some laughs, it caused me to think, and Jennifer Aniston looks great in couture catalalog clothing.

I suppose the life support guru can be helpful for people in pain, but the loss of a loved one is a spiritual matter. You can’t just dismiss that fact. Nearly everyone will at some point in the healing process question, “Is there an afterlife?” So, while the film is partly a romantic comedy, it is also a drama, one that never raises spiritual matters. The screenwriter takes time to feature a crazy lady who’s made cookies out of her dead husband’s ashes, as well as other eccentrics exploited in the name of humor, but not once do we see a person coping with loss through their faith.

I kind of felt unsatisfied by the production’s ignoring of spiritual matters. Still, the film does remind us that we need to go on and we need to seek that which helps us do so.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Universal

Summary
Crude Language: I caught a couple of crude sexual remarks.
Obscene Language: three or four obscenities, mostly the s-word.
Profanity: Five profane uses of God’s name and Christ’s name is thrown away twice.
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Lots of drinking throughout.
Other: None
Running Time: 109 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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