The romantic drama has been a staple of cinema for decades, and experienced a huge boost in profile during the last decade thanks largely to those pesky Nicholas Sparks adaptations that arrived at regular intervals, but it wouldn’t be unfair to suggest that the genre has suffered just as many misses as it has hits.
For every heart-wrenching, tear-jerking story of love, loss and reconciliation, there’s something like Love Happens. It ticks all of the boxes you’d expect by featuring two beautiful people finding their budding relationship hit with setbacks and obstacles at every turn, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a movie more cloying or derivative.
Aaron Eckhart plays a self-help guru ready to strike a multimedia deal that’ll make him a very rich man, but he’s never faced up to his own grief surrounding the death of his wife, which flies in the face of his own career. Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston is trying to focus on the single life and her flower business, but the inevitable meet-cute throws a spanner in the works.
Love Happens is 109 minutes of two people wrestling with their feelings, even though viewers will know exactly where things are headed from the second the leads are introduced. A 17% Rotten Tomatoes score and 37% user rating means that it doesn’t come highly recommended, but it’s somehow managed to land straight on the Netflix most-watched list this week, as per FlixPatrol.