Opening 12 Nov 2009
Filmmaker Brandon Camp visually captures relationship drama and its weirdness in Love Happens – the weirdness being actually conceivable with the delightful performances from Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart, Dan Fogler and Judy Greer. Camp ironically uses a typical dreary, rainy Seattle weekend as a backdrop for his slow-moving narrative that explores the consequences of human suffering due to a personal loss. He notes that the denial of pain experienced without proper confrontation can produce immature conduct that spirals out of control. This adverse behavior, oddly, draws in patient and compassionate people who believe in love. True love can happen when these individuals are willing to see through the garbage that denial produces. In effect, then these people can make Love Happen because of their hope that mankind is genuinely good and will choose to work through difficult issues to be healthy.
Dr. Berke Ryan (Eckhart) is traveling the country on a seminar tour promoting information from his new book about letting go of the pain caused by suffering a loss. The city of Seattle schedules Ryan for a seminar to be held in a posh hotel. Coincidentally, on the same weekend he is to close a multi-million dollar deal to syndicate his renowned approach to suffering, which include options made for television. Ryan’s trip to Seattle is exciting for his career but personally concerning because it was in this city, a few years earlier, that he lost his wife in a very serious car accident. The memories are burdensome, as well as the unfinished business yet to reckon with his former in-laws. Consumed with the weight of his weekend obligations and the guilt he harbors by not practicing what he preaches regarding letting go of pain, the 72-hour stop in Seattle is not short enough until he bumps into the hotel’s florist, Eloise (Aniston). Ryan’s immediate attraction to Eloise turns his whole world upside down, even though she appears to be deaf and dumb. Eloise engages him in a word-definition game secretly written on the hotel wall behind a picture and a flower pot. Shocked by the encounter and the fact that he is smitten adds one more coal to his fired-up weekend. Their odd relationship demonstrates that Love Happens from a strange combination of circumstances, but whether it lasts remains to be seen. (Rita Pearson Schwandt)