Friday, September 30, 2016

Movie Review: Stuck in Love

Image found here.
On a rainy afternoon, I was in no mood to leave the house. So instead, I had one of those rare Netflix nights at home, all to myself. And as much as I enjoy all of the new nature documentaries that are now available for streaming, I wanted to watch a romantic movie. I came across Stuck in Love. I had never heard of it before (even though it came out four years ago), but the film has a good cast and sounded like a cute story, so I went for it.

The movie explores different relationship concerning the members of the Borgens family, and how they are "stuck in love" when they don't want to be. You have the divorced parents (played by Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly), who have a history of infidelity and still pine for one another (in varying degrees). Then there's their teenage son Rusty (played by Nat Wolff), who falls in love for the first time with a girl who has a drug problem; he says that "looking at her hurt," that's how strongly he felt for her, even though he barely knew her at the time. His sister Samantha (played by Lily Collins) is jaded by her parents' relationship and defies love through her promiscuous one-night-stands with strangers. But then her classmate Louis (played by Logan Lerman) insists on being her friend, and she falls in love with him, despite her fear of being hurt. On top of that, the relationship between Samantha and her mother is rocky (due to the previously mentioned cheating), but of course Mom cannot help but love her daughter, even when Sam hasn't spoken to her in more than a year. These characters are "stuck in love," but in the end, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

I enjoyed this movie a lot. Many of the characters (Dad, Rusty, and Samantha) are writers, and the characters of the film themselves are well-written, so you really feel like you know who these people are. I could relate to most of the feelings they had, and all of the heavy stuff is saved for the last half hour of the movie; I must have cried five times just within that part of the film. If you have ever been in love before, and especially if you have ever had your heart broken before, you will see yourself in at least one of these characters. Love is a universal language, and even if you have not had these exact same experiences (ex. finding the girl you like snorting coke in the bathroom), you sympathize with the characters and may even think about what you would do or feel if you were in their place. You connect with their stories and their emotions, which for me is everything that makes a great film.

The movie poster calls the film "a story about first loves and second chances." I think that's the perfect way to describe it.

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