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A Phoned-In Review for a Phoned-In Movie

By Dustin Rowles | Film | September 18, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | September 18, 2009 |

Cliché. Studio-manufactured quirky florist (Jennifer Aniston) who scrawls odd words, like “quidnunc,” behind paintings in a hotel and keeps customer’s love notes. Cliché. Widowed self-help author (Aaron Eckhart), who can’t seem to follow his own advice. Platitude. Cliché. Bumper-sticker pop-speak. “A-Okay!” Cliché. Let’s pass around the “candle of truth,” why don’t we!

Best friend roles: Dan Fogler as arrogant agent (the best part of the movie, which says most of what you need to know about Love Happens). Judy Greer wasted as Female Best Friend (Joan Cusack™). She spouts poetry. Cliché.

Nice dimples, Eckhart.

Twice tarded meet cute. Cliché. Bicker chemistry. Quirky girl plays hard to get (by acting deaf). Cliché. Florist and author, nevertheless, couple up. Cliché. Uh oh. He’s got a secret involving the death of his wife (spoiler: The secret is in the trailer). Cliché! Quirky girl helps self-help author resolve issues. Cliché. She takes him to a poetry slam. What? To the graves of Bruce and Brandon Lee. Huh? To the woods, to release a cockatoo that belongs to Burke’s angry father-in-law (Martin Sheen). Are you fucking with me?

Contrived cathartic moment. Cliché.

Look, the Space Needle!


Formula. Formula. Cliché. Contemplative drive through city while bus staring out the window. Cliché. Product placement (Home Depot: “You Can Do It. We Can Help”). Product placement (Qwest: “Spirit of Service.”). Formula. Cliché. Kill me. Kill Me, Dead. Is it over yet? Run through the forest! Big hug with Martin Sheen. Oh Gawd: Male weepie moment. Cliché. Platitude. Goddamn Cliché.

Leave theater. Walk to the car. Drive home.

Cliché. Impassioned speech. Obvious secret revealed. Slow clap!

Collect paycheck.

Finis! (That’s Latin for: Choke on your own vomit and die.)

When Hollywood gives you lemons; stomp on their windpipe.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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