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Arts and Entertainment

Movie Review: Love Happens

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I imagine that most people expect Love Happens to be one of those relatively innocuous romantic comedies that is populated by very particular characters whose lives and actions hit certain beats at specific times. I mean, there's a formula for this stuff that works for many people despite that fact that it's almost oppressively familiar. What's interesting about Love Happens -- and the reason that the movie ultimately fails -- is that it discards that traditional formula and tries to do something different. Unfortunately, the result is an ill-conceived mess, but I do accord the movie some respect for at least trying to stray from that well-worn path.

Of course, if you've seen any of the commercials for Love Happens you would think that it was one of those relatively innocuous rom-coms. There's Jennifer Aniston smiling, Aaron Eckhart laughing and the background music and narration is, you know, that typical "romantic comedy" background music and narration. Seeing those ads, you would have no idea how, well, gloomy most of the film really is. I mean, the romance between Aniston and Eckhart is closer to a sub-plot than the main plot, and all of the other sub-plots are essentially about dealing with death. Be it the death of a wife or of a child, it's mostly death, death, death.