What can I say about this movie? It’s a hard one to write up as it left me with mixed feelings and not much else. It is definitely geared towards a female or Rom-Com audience and is a bit of an emotional movie in parts. But, for me, it wasn’t a love story or at least the love story wasn’t the driving force as the DVD blurb would make you believe. It is Burke Ryan’s story (Aaron Eckhart) with Eloise Chandler (Jennifer Aniston) acting as his emotional crutch or unknowing motivator for change.
Burke Ryan is a typical tortured soul, a motivational speaker who projects confidence and clarity as he leads packed seminars and workshops on how to overcome grief and move forward based on his self-help book. The only problem with this of course is that internally Burke does not have everything together. It is easy to predict that a tightly wound man with a tragic past isn’t going to be outwardly stable for very long, especially when his next career making seminar is in his home town where he is greeted with a not so happy father-in-law.
There were elements to this movie which reminded me of Reign Over Me and Marley & Me though I am not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s the general tone that the movies have in common as they all deal with death, grief and change. If you want a movie that will make you laugh… Love Happens isn’t the right kind of movie for you (though Judy Greer does make an appearance to give us some light hearted humour). If however, you are after inspiration mixed with floral arrangements, random words hidden behind paintings, a fear of elevators and Jen driving a combi van then you will not be disappointed.