If you believe in second chances, this film is for you: Stuck in Love follows the Borgens, a family of writers and literature aficionados through their romantic ups and downs. Make sure to have your tissues ready.
Stuck in love (2013): Directed by Josh Boone; running-time 96min; starring Greg Kinnear (The Last Song), Jennifer Connely (A beautiful mind), Phil Collins’ daughter Lily, Logan Lerman without the Olympians, John Green protegé #3, Kristen Bell and Liana Liberato.
What’s it about? Although his wife Erica (Connely) divorced him three years ago, writer William Borgens (Kinnear) has not given up hope that she will change her mind and return to him. As a means of coping with her parents’ split, their tween daughter Samantha (Collins), a writer in her own right, has lots of meaningless sex with men who could never actually spark her interest – until she meets Lewis (Lerman), an aspiring writer with a sad family history of his own. Meanwhile, Sam’s younger brother Rusty (Nat Wolff) has a crush on a classmate (Liberato) who struggles with substance abuse. A wonderful tale of hearts broken and hearts mended.
What’s it really about? Second Chances
- You’re looking for romantic film to watch with your family – despite the occasional sex, drugs, alcohol and violence: the topics are handled with sensitivity and caution.
- However DO NOT WATCH this with your family if your parents are divorced or a parent or grandparent has cancer
- You’ve been disappointed romantically
- You believe in second chances
- You can handle complicated families
- You enjoy watching young actors shine
- You appreciate great writing
- You’re interested in writers and literature
Most memorable scene: When Rusty’s girlfriend Kate disappears from Sam’s book release party, all four Borgens go looking for her and eventually find her passed out in some guy’s apartment. On the way home, Rusty, who is cradling Kate’s unconscious body on his lap in the backseat starts to cry and Sam comforts him.
Most memorable quote: “If love is setting a place for somebody who is never coming home, I think I’ll pass” – Samantha
Magic Music Moment: On their first date, Sam and Lewis are sitting in his car outside an ice rink, rain pouring outside. Sam asks Lewis to play his favourite song, “Between the Bars” by Elliott Smith for her. A few bars into the song, she starts to tear up. “I’m so scared. I don’t wanna get hurt”, she admits. “I’m not gonna hurt you”, Lewis assures her as he leans in to kiss her for the first time.
Where do I know them from? Stuck in Love features an exciting ensemble of young Hollywood talent that make the movie feel fresh and real. First and foremost, it stars 26-year old Lily Collins, daughter of Phil Collins. Known to teens and tweens mostly for her part as Clary in the failed Mortal Instruments film franchise, the 2011 action thriller Abduction in which she played the girlfriend of Taylor Lautner, a.k.a the only good thing to come out of Twilight or Snowhite in Mirror, Mirror. Lily’s performance as Samantha is so insightful and sober, she simply takes your breath away.
By contrast, Collins’s on-screen brother Nat Wolff was still relatively unknown to most audiences before the release of Stuck in Love. It was only a year later that the 21-year old became part of the pop culture phenomenon that is John Green’s writing: tweens everywhere know him as the blind kid from The Fault in our Stars, or the lovesick puppy pining after Cara Delevingne in Paper Towns. Other than that he’s mostly been in Indie flicks such as Ashby and Palo Alto alongside Emma Roberts or starring in The Intern with Anne Hathaway and Robert de Niro.
Wolff’s on-screen love interest Kate is portrayed by Liana Liberato. At only 20 year’s old, the native Texan was the youngest cast member on set. But you wouldn’t be able to tell when looking at her mature performance as a young girl struggling with substance abuse and self-loathing who is desperately hoping that her new boyfriend will make her demons go away. Liberato, too, was cast in a YA adaptation, 2014 tearjerker If I stay, in which she played Chloe Grace Moretz’ loyal best friend. She also has experience playing ill-fated lovers, having starred in the Nicholas Sparks’ adaptation The Best of me.
The other Borgens love interest, Samantha’s boyfriend Lewis, is played by Logan Lerman: like Collins, the 23-year old rose to fame after portraying a popular fantasy teen novel character in Percy Jackson. Next, he played the lead in the movie adaptation of the critically acclaimed coming of age novel The Perks of being a Wallflower, alongside Hogwarts alumn Emma Watson. Logan and Emma reunited for Darren Aronofsky’s epic Noah, which also stars Jennifer Connelly, who plays Sam and Rusty’s mother in Stuck in Love.
Where can I watch? Stuck in Love is available for streaming on Netflix UK and US, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, Videoload and Google Play. You might also want to look it up on YouTube.