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Stuck In Love

Year: 2013
Production Co: Informant Media
Director: Josh Boone
Writer: Josh Boone
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, Jennifer Connelly, Nat Wolff, Kristen Bell, Patrick Schwarzenegger

If there's one thing indie dramas love, it's writers grappling with love. In Stuck In Love we get a whole family of them.

Greg Kinnear is acclaimed novelist Bill, holding out after his wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly) has left him, apparently deluding himself that she's going to come back and spying on her and her new husband through their windows in the middle of the night.

Despite his smarts and talent, he sets a place for her at Thanksgiving at the family's beachside house in case she shows up while his teenage son Rusty (Nat Wolff) rolls his eyes at such a pathetic gesture.

Also coming home is Will's daughter Sam (Lily Collins), a whip-smart ingenue writing student who doesn't believe in love but has a series of one night stands with guys she seems to confuse into bed using her high-minded theories on life and society.

Rusty and Sam are both aspiring writers too, and when Sam announces she's having a book published, it starts a series of bittersweet confrontations and explorations by everyone in the house.

At Will's urging, Rusty makes a move on the beautiful girl at school he's pining for from afar with spectacular results that get him more than he bargained for. And despite her best intentions and strict rules, Sam finds herself being won over by a nice guy who pursues her relentlessly.

Some of the tropes are a little ham fisted and there isn't much in the way of overarching themes or messages. It's also not funny enough to be a comedy and not emotionally deep enough to be a terribly effective drama, so it comes off a little rambling at times, seeming not to have a point apart from the fact that we're all misfit slaves to our hearts when it comes to love. Stuck In Love really needed something distinctive to stand out in a very crowded genre.

Everyone does a fine enough job, particularly Collins. She still plays a little too cute and perky but you can see her coming into her talent before your eyes and she'll be one to watch in years to come.

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