Film Review: Stuck in Love

Stuck in Love is a twee romantic comedy drama which is suitably engaging. The reliance on literature works for the most part, although some viewers may find the film overly saccharine.

Samantha is looking for fun, she avoids romantic relationships entirely. Her younger brother Rusty is the opposite; he is head over heels for a girl in his class. Their father, meanwhile, struggles to move on from their mother, who is now married to someone else…

The aspect of Stuck in Love that stands out the most is the reversal of stereotypical gender roles. This is how the film differentiates itself from others of the same ilk. The inversion is made clear from the first quarter or so of the film; it is not a point that Stuck in Love relies upon or feels the need to emphasise later.

Instead, the film develops the standard preoccupations of romantic comedy dramas. Stuck in Love features the same exploration of the ups and downs of romantic and familial relationships as many of its predecessors. The film is predictable in places, and cloying in others. There are moments when an emotional response is strived for. Some of these scenes are touching. Others feel more contrived, with slow zoom, meaningful dialogue and addition of the score.

Writer-director Josh Boone is clearly fond of literature. This is a vein that runs prominently throughout the film. He can overindulge the peccadillo for quotes and references to books and writers. Occasionally, these are cute.

Stuck in Love features some great casting, particularly Jennifer Connelly and Lily Collins as mother and daughter. Greg Kinnear meanwhile is strong as William.

Perhaps not as deep as it aims to be, Stuck in Love never bores viewers or feels as if it is dragging. However, the film does not really engender a strong response either.