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Blu-ray Review: Love Happens

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Love Happens stars Aaron Eckhart as Burke Ryan, the author of a successful self-help book that gives advice about dealing with the loss of a loved one. He has firsthand experience with the subject as he wrote the book to deal with the loss of his wife after she died in a car accident.  He’s poised to become the next big thing with a syndicated talk show and endorsements about to start.

Burke has to go to Seattle to do a workshop, as well as meet with executives to sign the talk show and endorsement deals. However he hates Seattle because that’s where his wife is from and being there makes him think of her and that puts him on edge. During a break from his workshop he meets Eloise (Jennifer Aniston), who owns the flower shop that provides flowers to the hotel where the workshop is taking place.

The meeting between Burke and Eloise is awkward and, due to a misunderstanding, Eloise thinks Burke is just an arrogant womanizer who cheats on his wife due to his success. As the movie progresses we learn Burke isn’t following his own advice and hasn’t moved on due to reasons that would spoil the movie if I revealed them here.

Eckhart gives another strong performance, and the scenes that Aniston are in showcase her talent; however both the film itself and the scenes Eckhart and Aniston share fall flat. The supposed chemistry that the duo are supposed to share is nonexistent, and the resolution is predictable at best .

My favorite genre is science fiction, but my wife doesn’t share my enthusiasm, so I try to get films when I can that we can both enjoy. When this film ended, I looked at her and said “meh” and she said “that about sums it up.”

Love Happens does have a good supporting cast. Dan Fogler (Fanboys) is very funny as Burke’s agent and friend; it was good to see him rebound after Wedding Bros, as that film was weak and anyone who saw him in Fanboys knows how funny he is. Judy Greer is great as Eloise’s employee at the flower shop and friend. Martin Sheen appears briefly as Burke’s former father-in-law and is outstanding in the few scenes he has, but even he couldn’t save this bland film.

Video: The movie looks beautiful on Blu-ray. It’s presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1 aspect ratio) and the colors are strong and defined.  A perfect example of this are the scenes at the flower shop where the flowers are especially rich and vibrant. The black levels are crisp and defined and never wash the actors out.

Audio: The film's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is very good; it never overpowers the dialogue, nor interferes with it. You can understand each actor’s lines, and can distinguish each of them.

There are several extras for Love Happens, including a commentary with executive producer Richard Solomon, producer/co-writer Mike Thompson, and director/co-writer Brandon Camp. The trio discuss a variety of topics including the look of the film, types of lenses, the locations, as well as the actors, characters and story, however they focus more on the shoot than the story or characters and the commentary tends to be a bit dull.

There are several deleted scenes which wouldn't have added much to the film, but do give Dan Fogler a bit more screen time.

Rounding things out is the brief featurette "Giving Romance a New Look" which goes over the CGI shots that appear throughout the film.

Hopefully the next film for these actors will showcase their talent and be given a better script. But Love Happens doesn’t have that, and has a number of romantic clichés we’ve seen before and offers nothing new.

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