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Stuck In Love Review

by David Steedman

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Director: Josh Boone.

Starring: Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Kristen Bell, Nat Wolff, Liana Liberato.

Running Time: 97 minutes.

Certificate: 15.

Synopsis: A family of writers find themselves dealing with the struggles of love over the course of a year.

Josh Boone is an important name in the current book adaptation circuit, and a lot has been made of his involvement in the upcoming ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ adaptation, starring Shailene Woodley. Young adults across the land will be interested to know that Boone’s direction in STUCK IN LOVE is refreshing, simple and effective. The film is a varied collection of storylines which marry together and are detailed at family occasions spanning between two Thanksgivings. A family of writers, the drama begins when the publication of Sam’s (Lily Collins) first book brings pride to her father but jealousy from brother Rusty (Nat Wolff).

The story is simple, and compliments must be paid to the cast who keep proceedings gripping. Greg Kinnear particularly shines as acclaimed writer Bill Borgens, who hasn’t written since his divorce from wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly). Stalking his ex and hiding in bushes may not be a textbook way of coping with divorce, but Kinnear’s charm and the brokenness he communicates is incredibly powerful. Kristen Bell also makes a very funny appearance as Bill’s repeated one night stand, setting him up on dating websites to help him move on.

Powerful and understated, Logan Lerman’s performance as Lou proves how much he has grown since PERCY JACKSON. Falling in love with the promiscuous Sam and struggling to deal with his sick mother, the young pair find a slight problem during an early exchange. Initially alienated from the idea of love due to her parents’ failed relationship, we see Sam turn her views around after meeting Lou, who just so happens to share her favourite book. With her opinions seemingly turned around in an instant, the scene feels rushed as we witness a girl completely reversing her life philosophy. It may gain weight as the story progresses, but at the time stands out as a little peculiar.

STUCK IN LOVE deals with real family issues from love and divorce to the drug abuse centred around Kate, played perfectly by Liana Liberato. Revolving around the redemption of broken writer Bill, it will make you smile and, apart from the occasional hiccup, is very difficult to criticise. It won’t be considered for awards or hailed above others, but it is relatable and something that everyone can enjoy. Its cast and director are near-perfect, with the upbeat soundtrack led by band Bright Eyes really helping the film to stand out. The vast majority of the audience will be left wanting more and eager to stay in the Borgen family’s world.

Four Out Of Five Stars

STUCK IN LOVE is released in UK cinemas on June 14th.

 

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