Aniston of the week: Love Happens (or does it?)

Dull, dull Aaron Eckhart.

FILM: Love Happens amor-inesperado
DIRECTOR: Brandon Camp
YEAR: 2009
PLOT SUMMARY: Eloise meets self-help guru/grief expert/boring white male Burke (Aaron Eckhart) when he flirts with her at the hotel he’s staying/leading a seminar at, while she’s delivering flowers. Burke’s wife died three years ago, and his grief coping strategies have turned into a career, helping others, but guess what? Maybe he didn’t deal with his wife’s death after all… Eloise has had a series of relationships with emotionally unavailable men, so she’s y’know, not really interested in Burke’s problems, but this is a movie so somehow she helps him anyway.
CHARACTER TRAITS: Kind, ‘kooky’ (we can tell she’s kooky because she wears a scarf similar to her costume in Along Came Polly and she likes to secretly write unusual words on walls), generous, thoughtful, confident.

See that face on Aniston? We get it Jen, we get it.

NOTES ON PERFORMANCE: Aniston tries her best with wooden Eckhart, she’s charming and energetic and lovely, but even her efforts can’t convince us they have any chemistry.
NOTES ON FILM: This is an Aniston version of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl role, where she ‘saves’ Eckhart’s repressed ‘good guy’ from the bland, safe life he’s living, and opens him up to new, authentic experiences (beat poetry, shisha pipes, bubble gum, Brandon Lee’s grave, naturally). He even Mansplains away her giving him the brush off when they first meet – it’s not that she’s genuinely not interested in him – she rejects him because she’s beautiful and she can (thanks, Burke!). The title is also totally erroneous – Burke and Eloise’s coupling is more like Lukewarm Tolerance Happens.
CONCLUSION: Aniston wishes she was somewhere else, and so do we.

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