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Eckhart plays Dr. Burke Ryan, a motivational guru whose bestselling books and seminars purportedly are to help the masses deal with their feelings of grief and loss--but he also finds he uses his massive success as an excellent device to distance himself from his own feelings. Aniston is a successful florist, who, after a string of really bad relationships (her pal says, "you tend to fall for guys with expiration dates right on their foreheads"), has sworn off men. The two meet cute when they literally bump into each other in the Seattle hotel where Eckhart is holding a seminar. It's to both actors' great credit that what seems like an instant connection is really quite believable, though of course the characters' first instinct is to each run the other way. Eckhart and Aniston have believable, adult chemistry, something often missing from contemporary American film. Their emotional baggage has shaped them, and must be opened, organized, and then properly stowed for takeoff; Love Happens gives careful attention to that all-too-necessary process.
Martin Sheen has an excellent supporting role as the father of Burke's late wife--and who clearly sees the pain his son-in-law is steeping in, despite success beyond his wildest dreams. Director and co-writer Brandon Camp (John Doe) has a sure knack for dialogue and for connecting characters. He also is adept at letting a setting--in this case, Seattle--develop as a moody and appropriate backdrop for his story. (Though purists and Seattleites will have fun watching for the many breaks in continuity, between shots of the city and of Vancouver, where much of the film was shot.) "You have to give yourself permission to live your life again," Burke's friend (Dan Fogler) urges him. Words to live--and love--by. --A.T. Hurley
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched this last night and enjoyed it, but did not love it. I love Jennifer Aniston and she made the movie better than it would have been without her. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Connie Pavey
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