I really wanted to watch Stuck in Love because I secretly have the biggest girl crush on Lily Collins. She portrays Samantha, the daughter of a successful novelist whose wife left him for a younger man. The American independent movie is for a big part about writing, which is a very interesting topic in my opinion. But ever since the movie was released a few years ago, writer and director Josh Boone received different criticism. I wanted to share with you guys what I think about it.
I really like some of the monologues and dialogues. Apart from the fact that the plot itself isn’t really my cup of tea, I think the screenplay was really well-written. The three main characters are writers, and the film begins with 3 texts written by each of them, to get to know them. For example Samantha’s text (which I think is very inspiring):
“I never enjoy anything. I’m always waiting for whatever’s next. I think everyone’s like that. Living life in fast forward. Never stopping to enjoy the moment. Too busy trying to rush through everything so we can get on with what we are really supposed to be doing with our lives. I get these flashes of brilliant clarity where for a second I stop and I think: “Wait, this is it, this is my life. I better slow down and enjoy it. Because one day we’re all going to end up in the ground and that’ll be it, we’ll be gone.”
So I think the literary part was beautifully brought, but overall the plot wasn’t really my thing. The story was very dull. Stuck in Love was more a description of a period of time than a journey. And that’s what I think movies should do: take you on a journey, so that you live with the characters and feel what they feel. But the storyline and the character’s developments were quite boring and very predictable.
Also, most writers are facing a lot more problems than a simple writers block or family conflicts. It gets way messier. Stuck in Love really lacks this messy psychological truth.
Mother (Jennifer Connelly) and daughter (Lily Collins) really look alike – both astonishingly pretty – and their acting was great, just as father (Greg Kinnear) and son (Nat Wolff). Despite the sluggish story and non-exciting events, their emotions did look real and convincing. Thank god for the well-chosen and talented actors, they brought the somewhat boring film to a higher level.
Stuck in Love portrays itself as an independent film. But in my opinion it had too many “Hollywood-ish” aspects to be a true indie. It uses a lot of clichés and mainstream elements. The score was very typical for an indie, though. Hip soundtracks, such as “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros. But they didn’t stand out. Sometimes when I watch a movie I look up the music afterwards, but now I didn’t. I prefer films where the music brings a whole new dimension. Films with music by Hanz Zimmer, for example.
Concerning the images, I liked how they played with light. I specifically remember one long-shot of the house at night. It was dark outside and all the lights inside the house – which has a lot of windows – were illuminated. Very beautiful.
But in general, the makers of Stuck in Love should have been more creative. They played it safe. Opting for a happy “family-reunited-at-Thanksgiving” ending is just too easy.
Photo credits: Stuck in Love, Becker film group