The movie went fast and even though you hoped for a happy ending, you weren't quite sure how it was going to turn out. I won't spoil it, but the ride to the end was worth it. It is a cute, summer drama that is worth checking out.
Stuck in Love. (2012)
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The movie went fast and even though you hoped for a happy ending, you weren't quite sure how it was going to turn out. I won't spoil it, but the ride to the end was worth it. It is a cute, summer drama that is worth checking out.
First-time writer/director Josh Boone has crafted an exquisite film which successfully combines several themes that few are able to tackle successfully. Like David Gordon Green's "Snow Angels," my #1 Top Pick of 2007 and one of my favorite indies of the past decade, we see three couples struggling to cope with the primordial human connection -- the innocence and fear of first love, the seesaw of a mature relationship, and the pain of an estranged couple. Ironically (or perhaps not), "Writers" is privileged to have enlisted Green's longtime Director of Photography Tim Orr. But this is a much lighter picture than "Snow Angels," making it especially accessible to young people and families.
Greg Kinnear is William Borgens, the classic what-have-you-done-for-me-lately author who hasn't had a hit in ages but refuses to allow anyone to sense his self-pity. His wife Erica, played by Jennifer Connelly, is the quintessential partner cast aside at the expense of William's inattention and indiscretion. Their teenage children Samantha and Rusty, portrayed by Lily Collins and Nat Wolff, are discovering their own offbeat paths into the wacky world they've inherited. High school student Rusty, in particular, is a struggling writer himself who is beginning to experience the first frightening pangs of adolescent desire. Dad isn't the best role model, after all, but this is a father-son relationship that has promise if either or both can get their acts together. Samantha is in college and headstrong in the ways of a young woman determined to control her life and career at the expense of entering the dating scene and submitting to the wants of a man. Enter Lou (Logan Lerman), the earnest intellectual who'll stop at nothing to win her over.
From top to bottom -- Kinnear, Connelly, Collins, Wolff, Lerman -- "Writers" is perfectly cast. All inhabit their roles as if they created them. In fact, to some extent, that's true as the dialogue's authenticity is at least partly rooted in Boone's generosity in allowing the actors to improvise some of their material (a technique favored by the aforementioned David Gordon Green, as well). Wolff, in particular, takes advantage of this opportunity to add a good deal of the narrative's comic relief with his ad-libbed lines. Interestingly, he did the same in last year's Toronto hit "Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding," in which he played virtually the same character -- a naive youth, physically inexperienced, gently and innocently exploring his potential with the tender yet intimidating opposite sex. Lerman, 19 at the time of filming, played a 15-year-old in his other world premiere selection at this same festival, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." In "Writers," he goes in the opposite direction as a 21-year-old who couldn't be more different from Perks' Charlie. In that film, his role is similar to Wolff's as the vulnerable virgin. Here, he's a self-assured, bright college student who is destined to charm Samantha off her feet. The fact that he can convincingly portray both these characters in two pictures at the same festival is testament to his talent and versatility. As his would-be suitor, young Lily Collins is an able foil to Lerman's advances and wins over the audience with her sharp wit.
The adults who anchor the film deserve far more credit than they're given. Jennifer Connelly, who won an Academy Award opposite Russell Crowe in 2001's "A Beautiful Mind," is a beautiful soul inside and out as the wounded spouse who still has a place in her heart for a potentially loving husband. He still holds a torch for her, as well, an intensely personal plot device that could easily lack credulity in the hands of lesser professionals. Oscar-nominated Kinnear proves once again why he is one of the industry's go-to guys. Few actors handle comedy and drama equally well, and he has no problem convincing the audience as a tormented has-been. He may be down on his luck but retains the earnestness that brought him fame and a loving family not that long ago. He's poised for a comeback and it's a role tailor-made for Kinnear.
The film is technically well-balanced between slick Hollywood production values and a relaxed indie look. Bright lighting belies the turmoil beneath the surface. The quaint beach house setting used in many of the scenes is awash with a color palette of earth tones and rustic furnishings, a counterculture milieu befitting this family of intellectuals. Mike Mogis and Nate Wolcott's score is combined with a soundtrack of indie music featuring Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, whose attraction to the material led him to write original music for the movie.
Tim Orr is truly a master cinematographer. His signature style is the ability to capture beauty in nature and everyday objects -- a dripping gutter here, a playground swing there -- and photography that is comforting, enveloping the actors in a warm glow that matches their affections. Nobody does it better. Boone was truly fortunate to have Orr on board.
"Writers" is overflowing with the authenticity of real life. You'll laugh, you'll cry -- often in the same scene -- and, most of all, you'll empathize with at least one of the characters. There isn't one of us who hasn't experienced the feelings and emotions exhibited by the members of this richly complex family. That's key to this ensemble that features many of our best and brightest young independent film actors. For what I expect a "sweet little American indie" to accomplish, "Writers" is simply perfection.
The script written by, and directed by Josh Boone (new comer) is clichéd to say the least. He uses various quotes from literature to make his characters seem intelligent and interesting. Personally, I love these sort of characters however, I understand other viewers who would find these characters pompous and not very relatable.
Now on to the acting which I think was rather good. Characters who really struck me where Rusty played by Nat Wolf. I feel like he really excelled in the whole second kid syndrome. I didn't necessarily find his characters a refreshing and new character, although I found he played the part extremely well. Kudos to you man. As for Lily Collins, compared to her other work I think it's safe to say she's making better choices. I mean what was abduction all about? I think her character was more interesting, she played the douche bag girl which was interesting as it's usually the douche bag guy. Logan Lerman was well Logan Lerman. He wasn't the central character which, I think made me like him more. But hey, what can I say? He's totally adorable but nothing to call home about. Greg Kinnear is also Greg Kinnear. I'm pretty sure he plays the exact same dude in every freaking film. I swear William the dad from Stuck In Love is Steve the dad from The Last Song. I love Kinnear and would love him to just do something a little bit more interesting and out of his comfort zone.
Overall, Stuck In Love was a clichéd film from clichéd land. But everybody loves a clichéd film now and then? I really enjoyed it. Josh Boone is going to direct The Fault In Our Stars which makes me feel a little relieved and a little excited. Stuck In Love scores 6 Kayne Faces.
Stuck in Love is a marvelous independent drama that deals with the different dynamics of love and how it affects us all. The whole cast does an excellent job with the material and really bring the characters and their emotions to life. Greg Kinnear turns in a great and sometimes comedic performance as we watch his character struggle the line of believing in love and moving on. But the most impressive performances come from our younger stars. Lilly Collins most notably turns in the strongest performance as a young woman who is struggling between different types of love, the ability to return love with her pursuer Louis, and the love her mother is trying to earn back. Logan Lerman returns with as much of a charming performance as he showed in The Perks of Being a Wallflower as the boy who is trying to win Samantha's heart. Nat Wolff plays a similar character who is trying to win over his own crush, despite the obstacles that may come in his way. What makes Stuck in Love so different from other love stories is that it's not just some cheesy romantic story, it deals with the different dynamics of love and heartbreak that we all will go through in life. The script and the actors do an incredible job of bringing this all to reality in a way that we can really feel what they are going through and give us something to relate to.
My rating: 10/10
Yes, this is about different types of love. Strangely, all of the love connections shown here are dysfunctional. Maybe that's the point that the filmmakers are trying to make. Who knows? All the actors seem to be acting out their roles well enough; however, they seem to have no inclination to interact with anyone else. Maybe I was not in the right mood for this film, but I never felt any true connections between any of these people. All attempts to wring feelings from us, the audience, just fell flat because, in truth, we had very little sympathy for anyone. Maybe it was because they were trying to cram too much into one movie. Maybe if they had focused on just one or two of the relationships, we would have developed some emotional connections with the participants. As it eventuated, however, we ended up stuck in an emotional limbo that did not, in any stretch of the imagination, approximate love.
I always enjoy that kind of deep meaningful realistic type of movies that give you a good cry in the end ! I even had goosebumps 90% of the movie ! its so touching!
The entire story revolves around one dimensional characters concerned with their 'feelings', their 'relationships', their 'fun', and running around in their own insulated world of rich people in big houses. And each one are extreme - either extremely over experienced in life as Samantha and Kate are. Or extremely under experience as Louis. Either way none of them are believable.
And the father William makes a big deal on how he has waited for two years for his wife to come back because she's his only love. While he is banging the little beach jogger - everyday! And did Samantha's boy friend really think his mother wasn't going to die? Thats established as soon as we see his mother.
No I can't like this silly movie - and who couldn't figure out the fate of little miss drug girl and that the wife would be back at the finish.
Although the story isn't ground breaking it's not irritating and doesn't lose steam. It's a story about a writer (Kinnear) and his family and their romantic and family relationships.
The daughter is played by Lily Collins who is very pretty and acts well. The still very beautiful Jennifer Connelly looks like she could be her mother in real life with their dark hair and thick eyebrows - good casting. Wish she would act more these days. Greg Kinnear is quite writer like with his beard but he looks a little too scruffy. Nat Wolff as the son is a bit dorky looking for such an attractive family. Liana Liberato is a bit irritating as the druggie girlfriend though. Patrick Schwarzenegger has a small role as a jerk boyfriend of Liana. Logan Lerman play's Lily's sweet boyfriend.
Everyone is kind of nice and sweet even when they aren't being nice and it's refreshing to see a movie with nice people and a watchable cast.
So, there we have it. Sounds like it could be good if written well with some conflict and some emotional draw. Unfortunately this movie is rubbish.
We have Bill (Greg Kinnear) idly hanging out in his $15m dollar beach-front show home, overlooking the sea as his two good looking and talented children get published via nepotism and back channels. Occasionally his beautiful neighbor jogs round and has no strings sex with him as well as giving relationship and fashion advice. Bill, however, is holding a flame for his (obviously) beautiful ex wife(Jennifer Connelly) and cannot move on.
Really, I cannot think of a film where I felt so little for the characters. The only character with any bite is Lou (Logan Lerman) who has something about him...but the rest of the cast act about as well I could. Connelly has about as much screen presence as a bucket of paint and Kinnear appears like he is waiting for a part on Grey's Anatomy. I just ended the film thinking: this is going straight to daytime TV as a film to pad out the schedule between cheap cooking shows and Storage Wars.
Poor William Borgen's (Kinnear) is having trouble writing after his wife (Connolly) left him for another man. He is having a "friends with benefits" relationship with his neighbour Tricia (Bell). To pour salt into the wound his daughter Samantha (Collins) has just had her latest novel published. But Samantha is unhappy to, unable to be emotionally intimate with men and permanently angry with her estranged mother. A class mate (Lerman) a fellow writer and part time musician attempts to get to know the real Sam. William's son Rusty (Wolff) a Stephen King devotee is in love with the pretty troubled Kate (Liberato) who decides to take his father's advice 'a writer is the sum of his experiences: go get some.' Over the course of a year the writer/director Josh Boone explores the travails of this family of writers.
Boone's film recalls a better film of its type Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys which had an acerbic script from Steve Kloves. That told the tale of a writer struggling to deal with his wife leaving him amidst a bout of writers block. Amidst the comedy it had an edge which this film lacks. It feels a little underdone a draft shy of memorable.
The cast are all fine though, Kinnear underplays nicely, and he is an observer to the action going on around him. Kinnear is one of cinemas best reactors. Connolly and Collins even look remarkably like a mother and daughter, Collins (daughter of Phil) has the juicier role and Boone gives her some smart dialogue to highlight the intelligence behind the beauty. Wolff a newcomer is a promising newcomer as Rusty.
By the rather trite yet optimistic conclusion love has been rekindled, delivered heartbreak and even the death of a loved one is rather coarsely explored. As the family gather around the table overlooking the glorious ocean, about to gorge on a turkey the music rises and the melodrama of the last year has finally ended.
Stuck in Love is one of those movies that is a bit difficult to review because there is little positive or negative things I can say about it. It is not great, but it is not bad either, it is just an average indie rom-com that never managed to get me emotionally involved with the characters. I was a bit disappointed because the trailer for this film looked so good. It made me think this was going to be similar to The Squid and the Whale since it dealt with writers and divorce; and it could have been similar with the only difference that the kids in this film were older. But the script wasn't nearly up to par with that film. Stuck in Love lacked that slick and edgy humor. There were some interesting moments thanks to a very likable and strong cast, but at the end this film felt like another formulaic Hollywood rom-com with everything fitting together too neatly during the final Thanksgiving dinner scene. This is Josh Boone's directorial debut and he had an impressive cast to work with, but ultimately his script was the weakest link here. It wasn't a terrible film, it managed to capture the several different dynamics of love through the very different characters and their love interests, but it was all uninspiring at times and predictable.
The film introduces us to a modern day American family of writers, the Borgens. William (Greg Kinnear) is a successful writer who has spent the last 3 years of his life waiting for his ex-wife, Erica (Jennifer Connelly) to return. She left him for a younger man, and he often stalks her hoping she will one day come back to him. Their oldest daughter, Samantha (Lily Collins) hasn't been able to forgive her for it. She hasn't spoken with her mother and doesn't believe in love or relationships. She is outgoing and likes to hook up with guys, but avoids any kind of relationship because she knows how devastating heartbreaks can be. She sees it every day in her father's moping face. She has just finished writing her first novel and is getting it published. Her younger brother, Rusty (Nat Wolff), is also an aspiring writer who also happens to be a huge Stephen King fan. He isn't very popular at school, but falls for the very beautiful and outgoing Kate (Liana Liberato). She seems out of his league, but she is also looking for someone different who could help her get out of trouble. Following his father's advice, Rusty decides to take risks and experience more of life and so he begins to pursue Kate. Samantha on the other hand is being pursued by a helpless romantic named Lou (Logan Lerman) who believes in true love and is also a writer. The film focuses on these various family dynamics and how each relationship begins shaping their lives.
Greg Kinnear gives a strong performance as usual, playing the caring father who can't seem to get over his ex-wife's abandonment. He hasn't been able to write since and therefor can't move on with his life. He has a casual relationship with his married neighbor played by Kristen Bell, but the film really doesn't focus much on her character. Jennifer Connelly doesn't have much screen time either as her major concern deals with her trying to reestablish her relationship with her estranged daughter. The central characters are actually the young kids who surprised me with very strong performances. Lily Collins is very likable in her role here and you can't help but root for her and her love interest, Logan Lerman. They looked cute together. Collins plays Jennifer Connelly's daughter here and it is surprising how much they really lookalike. I had to check if they weren't actually related in real life. Despite their great performances, I thought the true standout here was Nat Wolff. He plays the insecure kid who is willing to take risks in order to conquer the girl of his dreams. There are some great moments in this film, but the uneven script cost this film and ultimately it just felt like another forgettable Hollywood rom-com.
Round-Up: Over the years, I have grown to like Greg Kinnear's movies, but he isn't that versatile. He definitely isn't an action hero or a comic genius, but you always get a deep and warm performance from him. As for Jennifer Connelly, I'm not her biggest fan and I always seem to find her movies quite boring because she doesn't really seem to do anything. The other teenagers in the movie were pretty average and none of them seemed to stand out. That is due to the storyline which doesn't demand a performance that will shock or amaze the audience. In some ways, I found this to be more of a movie for the family or a chick flick, because I couldn't find anything to relate to the script, as a single person. You do end up sticking with the movie, because you wonder how the whole things panes out, but it's not something that you would rush to the cinema to watch.
Budget: N/A Domestic Gross: $80,000
I recommend this movie to people who are into there deep drama about a dysfunctional family who need each other. 4/10
Well, there is nothing else. Take a less talented cast and the movie would be simply unwatchable. The stubborn falsehood of the script is here from the very start: What, a writer's block/mid-life crisis again? A peeping tom set to educate his children alone in their coming of age? A family where everybody is an artist, has the talent to get a book published before 20? A fantastic house on the beach and very little deep concerns about life except for their little private lives? This is all so fake.
The worst is yet in the gross character arcs. I guess you can't really fault that kind of movie on originality. But having every single character just go from A to B in a snap and no real evolution, this is bordering insult to audiences. Yes the writer-director shoots the individual scenes OK - frankly I insist the cast does 99% of the job - but the editing, the lack of idea to suggest time convincingly - as in "meanwhile" or "3 months later".
In the end - provided you got there - you just feel as if you had left a salesman throw his sales-pitch at you. He was not exactly boring, just uninteresting from the start; it was vaguely entertaining to watch him and now you have to speak and you just have to say no but you realise you lost that many minutes. So you feel angry about yourself: that was simply not worth watching, you knew from the start but some tiny detail kept you hooked (his outrageous tail, his eyes, his accent...). And if I watched Stuck in Love in the first place it is because there are many suckers who gobbled the whole bait and graded it above 7 because they can't tell a crude sales pitch from a refined storyline.
Most of the actors have done very good films before, so I know it's not the execution. It's a bad plan that went even more wrong during the act. For instance, tell me about any other father that does not care his son smokes pot - unless he's a total hippie. It's stuff like that. This movie is a bunch of BS and don't waste your time. 7.3, please. Ruined my night and now I am going to doubt the ratings on this site!
A romantic comedy-drama film about a family of writers and their complex relationships with others (involving love). It was written and directed by first time feature film writer Josh Boone and stars Greg Kinnear, Lilly Collins, Nat Wolff, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly, Liana Liberato and Kristen Bell. It also features cameos by Patrick Schwarzenegger (the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger obviously), as a school bully, and the voice of Stephen King! The film is a great examination of love and family relationships and all their ups and downs. It's an amazing film from such a young debut filmmaker (He's almost three years younger than me)!
Kinnear plays a successful writer named William Borgens. He's had several books published, and found some small celebrity status, but hasn't written at all since his wife Erica (Connelly) left him for a younger, and buffer, man (Rusty Joiner) three years earlier. He spends a lot of his nights spying on his ex-wife, and her new husband, and his afternoons sleeping with a married (younger) neighbor woman (Bell). He's taught his teenage kids, Samantha (Collins) and Rusty (Wolf), to be writers since they were newborns and Samantha has just had her first book published. She won't tell her mother about it, and hasn't talked to her in years, because she blames her for breaking her father's heart. She's also skeptical about love (due to her parents' breakup) and just hooks up with stupid guys looking for sex. That starts to change when she meets a musician and classmate, named Lou (Lerman), who has a crush on her. Her younger brother is a hopeless romantic though and has just fallen for a classmate of his at school, as well, named Kate (Liberato). Kate just got out of an abusive relationship (with Schwarzenegger) and has a drug problem but Rusty thinks he can save her.
The movie is cynical at times, especially in the beginning, but it does build to a beautiful happy ending (which I think is wonderful). When you watch movies like this you deserve a happy ending. It's filled with all of life's ugliness and negativity but also it's magic and beauty and when you suffer with characters like this (in a movie like this) you deserve a good payoff. That is the case with this movie but it still seems mostly true to life. It's got it's Hollywood moments, and everyone is just a little too good looking, but it's moving and truthfully touching as well. All the performances are great and the directing and screenplay just hit all the right notes. The soundtrack is filled with awesome and fitting songs as well. It's just one of those movies that's a real treat to watch and makes you feel good (despite it's sad moments). Boone is really a director to watch out for!
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There's a few laughs in this film which keeps me entertained. The cast's performances are good. I love how Kinnear is consistent on what he's doing. Lerman is always amazing, after watching the perks of being a wallflower a few months ago. I realized that Lerman is going to be a future Oscar-winner, at first I thought he's like some typical teen actors but he proved me wrong. Just by looking at Connelly's eyes, they show endless emotions, it's scary yet attractive, her eyes make the audiences want to watch her more.
I rate this film 5/10 or unfavorable.
Novelist, Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear), is the center of the film amongst his two kids and ex-wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly). From time to time he spies on his ex and her new, much younger partner. You could say he's in a boring mid-life crisis. Then there's the two kids - Samantha and Rusty, both aspiring writers with different views on love. Yes, the bunch are stuck in love.
With reasonably good acting, the cast were well chosen. The smaller parts were given well to Kristen Bell who pops up a few times with good cause and a surprise cameo may interact pleasantly yet a tad cheesy. Nonetheless, the cast is crisp.
Its a decent plot to say the most and when things try spice it up it falls short. These few hardly innovative circumstances aren't resolved the way we wish. They offer capability to provide more state-of-the-art stature, but as you guessed, and knew all along, leave you dry. However where it is decent, it's a good watch despite a sappy ending.
All in all, Josh Boone makes a worthy debut. He's a stack of potential waiting to find the correct film - which is great. He deserves to be somewhere in the 'film-makers to look out for' list whether or not his debut isn't anything significant. It's the seeds for a promising plant.