Much as I appreciate the relaxing nature of a chick flick, it is almost tiring to watch the international cinema produce, every year, happy-ending romances in the line of Crazy Stupid Love, Love Actually, Leap Year, or No Strings Attached. Stuck in love makes no exception to the rule: it is about love and the way beautiful people respond to being over-loved or loveless. It is almost depressing the way these movies tell the stories of incredible good-looking people, misleading the rest of the world into believing that good things only happen to beautiful people or that such stories are real. It feels as if the rest of the world doesn't stand a chance unless they are handsome, successful, intelligent, ageless, living promising lives.
So far, my disappointment has been obvious, yet, there is interesting how, once again, a writer becomes the leading character in a movie that apparently talks books. In the tradition of Wonder Boys or Deconstructing Harry, this movie is about what happens to writers when they take time off from writing. Contrary to the general opinion that misery is the best creative resource, William Borgens (Greg Kinnear), successful writer and proud father of two budding literary wonder kids -Rusty and Samantha- hasn't felt very inspired since his wife, Erica (Jennifer Connelly), left him for a younger man. Love turns him into a lovesick puppy who would rather stalk on his former wife than make him plunge into writing. Of course, we, the viewers, are totally understanding of his obsession since Jennifer Connelly does anything but growing old. Her daughter's beauty, played by Lilly Collins, fades away to her mother's never-ageing looks.
Books and life have a cunning way of mingling, once again exposing the thin line between reality and fiction. The richer our experiences and readings are, for that matter, the better writing we produce. Except for the part where the father is willing to overlook Rusty's accusations regarding the promiscuous life of his sister, Samantha, for the sake of cumulative training on human relationships. As a parent shouldn't he at least try, let alone encourage, to get his daughter to value relationships based on anything but random sex? Apparently, he is too focused on wrapping his mind around her book being published and on making sure his son doesn't share the same bed with his junkie girlfriend. That, Stephen King's telephone walk-in as himself and claiming his novel IT is as good as Moby Dick were the drawbacks of a movie wishing to show us how much a writer struggles to embrace every day life in a creative manner.
In this melting pot of fuck bodies, drugs, addiction, casual sex, edgy daughter-mother relationship, soul mates, writing ambitions and books as far as you can see, a couple of things are really inviting: What We Talk about When We Talk about Love by Raymond Carver and A Good Man is Hard To Find by Flannery O'Connor. Two excellent authors you should definitely bother to read, while playing Between the Bars by Elliott Smith or The Beatles' Polythene Pam. Your choice! Or in the words of Benjamin Franklin, Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.