I admit it. I’m pretentious—at least when it comes to movies.
My friends will suggest some sappy romance movie, and I’ll immediately dismiss it.
“Oh, we don’t want to watch that. Come on, ‘Safe Haven’? It’s a Nicholas Sparks movie!”
But I have to be honest. I have to come clean.
I really, really like certain teen coming-of-age romance movies.
I can’t get enough of “Juno,” I really liked “The Spectacular Now,” and I’ve seen “500 Days of Summer” like 100 times.
Granted, these movies have strong acting and coherent, interesting story lines.
But the point is, despite the predictability and the countless cliches, I always come back for more.
So while it’s a bit hard for me to admit, I really liked Josh Boone’s “Stuck In Love.”
“Stuck In Love,” a typical romance movie, follows the path of three love stories.
First, there’s Bill (Greg Kinnear), a successful novelist who can’t get over his divorced wife. Next, there’s his overly cynical daughter, Sam (Lily Collins). And finally, there’s Rusty (Nat Wolff), the hopelessly romantic, nice-guy, high school outcast.
Now, normally I’d be spoiling it when I say that Bill gets back together with his wife, Sam gets over her cynicism and finds love, and Rusty gets the popular girl.
But come on. You knew that was coming.
The whole movie is steeped in romantic cliches and unrealistic outcomes.
For example, the audience learns that Bill’s wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly) has cheated on him with some gym-owning hunk, and then leaves him.
Three years go by, and Bill is still waiting for his wife, even setting a place for her at Thanksgiving.
Why? The story goes that early in their marriage, Bill left Erica for another woman, and Erica waited six months for him to come back.
When he does finally come to his senses, Erica makes Bill promise that if “she does anything that stupid,” he’ll wait for her too.
So here’s this sulking, middle-aged writer waiting years for his wife to come back from this hottie-with-a-body based on an old promise.
And of course, she does come back smiling, taking her place at the Thanksgiving table, laughing with her family.
Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the film despite its predictability and extremely idealistic outcome.
Now, you’re probably wondering how in the world I could bash “Stuck In Love” yet still enjoy the movie.
Well, it’s just as hard to hate “Stuck In Love,” as it is to hate a fluffy teddy bear.
And it’s not like some romance movies where the acting is atrocious. There’s just enough sorrow to make sure the lovey-dovey doesn’t get too out of hand.
Without getting too philosophical, romance movies are an escape from the real world.
They give me hope that everything will turn out okay, not just romantically, but in life overall.
Yeah, maybe that’s a little naive, but I don’t care. I can’t handle being a cynic all of the time.
So if you need a little romantic escape from reality—a reality where in the U.S. nearly 50 percent of marriages fail—watch “Stuck In Love.”
Like a cuddly teddybear, it’ll leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.