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Lily Collins’ cynical 20-year-old aspiring writer Samantha tells one hapless suitor in a bar that there are hopeless romantics and realists out there, and that the former are the ones that don’t get laid.

By the end of this familial drama about life and love, it is clear which side of this debate writer director Josh Boone is on.

Stuck In Love spans a year in the lives of a family of bookworms – famed author Bill (Greg Kinnear); the ex wife he still loves (Connelly); daughter Samantha, whose first novel is about to be published; and teen Rusty (Nat Wolff) who’s making his first dalliances with the opposite sex – as they navigate relationships and love. 

This could have been a god awful indie take on Valentine’s Day, with too many characters and wistful glances, and precious little actual content. But first-time filmmaker Boone has made a debut that is shrewdly observant, darkly comic and more than a little hopeful as the relationships blossom. 

Drawing on his own parents’ divorce when he was a youth, personal insights abound, especially in romantic yet naive Rusty. Boone’s smart script offers up a new take on dysfunctional families, too, and many a sharp exchange, especially between Sam and her quick-witted verbal-sparring partner Lou, who forces her to question her “avoid love at all costs” scepticism. 

There’s also solid performances across the board from a team of up and coming talent – Cole and Lerman especially are ones to watch – and a hip indie-rock soundtrack rounds out the underground cool kudos. An impressive debut. 

Good for: Bringing out the romantic in the most sceptical relationship realist

Starring: Lily Collins, Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman | 15 | 96mins 


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Stuck In Love - film review: Starring Lily Collins and Greg Kinnear
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