LOVE HAPPENS [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
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Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart star in the romantic drama Love Happens. When self-help author Dr. Burke Ryan (Eckhart) arrives in Seattle to teach a sold-out seminar, he unexpectedly meets florist Eloise Chandler (Aniston), the one person who might be able to help him help himself. But will two people who may have met the right person at exactly the wrong time be able to give love a chance? If they can, they’ll find that sometimes, when you least expect it…love happens.
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Dr. Burke (Aaron Eckhart) is a seminar man who runs a business with his colleague Lane (Dan Fogler) based on helping people cope with grief - a group called 'A-Okay'. Burke is a popular guru, more so because of his reason for ministering to grievers: his beloved wife died three years ago in a car accident so Burke can speak about grief from experience. But it seems he is running away from something, too. Most of his followers don't notice, but one man Walter (John Carroll Lynch) is a particularly needy client and seems to pick up on something missing in Burke's seminars. Burke is currently in Seattle (his deceased wife's home) with his manager Lane (who is cooking up all manner of marketing tools and opportunities for the A-Okay team). Burke happens to literally bump into Eloise (Jennifer Aniston) who owns a flower business catering to the hotel in which the seminar is being staged. Eloise seems addicted to losers, and is freshly apart from her latest affair: she is comforted and supported by her sole employee, the somewhat dingy Marty (Judy Greer in a terrific cameo), who encourages Eloise to look for some stability in her next mate.
Burke is attracted to Eloise but is so out of practice in the dating game that he comes across as vulnerable - a trait that makes Eloise wary at first and attracted later. The odd things the two do in the mating dance finally result in the uncovering of the secret problems Burke carries. Refreshingly enough the film does not sell out with a happy-wappy ending, just a few thoughts that are particularly tender.
Eckhart and Aniston are a terrific team on the screen: both are lovable without resorting to being sappy and repetitive. Fogler and Greer are excellent as are such fine actors as Martin Sheen and Frances Conroy in memorable cameos. There is a lot to like in this film that makes it a step above the usual 'chick flicks' that were more popular in theaters. Perhaps audiences, sadly, have difficulty hearing about grieving, but death, as well as Love, happens! Grady Harp, February 10
Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart star as florist (Eloise Chandler) and self help guru (Dr Burke Ryan) as they slowly run through each others' emotional defensive shields. Dr Ryan, is a successful self help speaker who helps people deal with grief and loss, but cannot deal with his own issues. Eloise Chandler is a florist with several 'lost' relationships. Through the film both main characters dodge what is happening, and when they least expect it, love truly happens.
So much for the summary.
Unlike man films with truly predictable outcomes and even dialogue, Love Happens, falls just outside the envelope. It is not predictable, but more believable as far as scripting goes. Not sappy, but sappy enough for the lover of chick flicks, it strikes the right chord.
Both Aniston and Eckhart are believable in their roles. Their onscreen chemistry is remarkable and renders this film one of the best in current memory.
Chemistry. There is a legitimate chemistry between LOVE HAPPENS stars Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart; they're not cookie cutter one-dimensionals that populate so many other films of this genre--these characters are believable, interact believably, and harbor true anguish and pain. Eckhart, playing self-help guru Burke (who has penned a bestseller about how to deal with pain and loss), by fate meets Eloise (Aniston), who is the florist for the Seattle hotel where Burke is conducting a seminar. Even though Burke is helping others cope with their grief, it becomes more and more obvious he's bottling up some pain of his own. (His wife having died in an auto accident some years before.) Meanwhile Eloise has been in one disastrous relationship after another, but she has a heart of gold and is willing to help Burke--if Burke will first help himself. All of this rushes headlong to a climactic scene featuring an interaction between Burke and his former father-in-law (Martin Sheen is very special); this scene was so compelling and poignant and tender I had to keep reminding myself I normally don't like movies like this.
Sure, much of the film is sappy and contrived, and Eloise's habit of leaving obscure words behind paintings at the hotel struck me as more than annoying, but overall I very much enjoyed LOVE HAPPENS. Dan Fogler and John Carroll Lynch stand out amidst a solid supporting cast. There's pain, there's humor, there's romance, there's anguish--in short, there's life. Why? Because LOVE HAPPENS.
--D. Mikels, Author, The Reckoning
The chemistry between Aaron and Jennifer is evident, the script is strong, and the supporting roles, most notably Martin Sheen's, are memorable.
Although I believe the movie is one of the better romantic films over the last few years "Love Happens" didn't jell at the box office, but sold nearly 8,000,000 copies on DVD.
Extras include commentary, deleted scenes, and a featurette called "Giving Romance A New Look" that looks at the visual effects of the movie.
An A+ film.