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47 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

First loves, great loves, family love, and love-of-books love

Author: Eleni from Greece
27 September 2013

In the Borgens family, the acclaimed author father, the college student freshly published author daughter, and the socially awkward high-school student son, also a writer to-be, are all stuck in problems of love. Samantha's story was the most relatable for me. You could understand how she is afraid of getting hurt by love, and how the plan she has revised to protect herself seems to make perfect sense, while at the same time you know she is not gonna be able to go through with it. Rusty's story, although not particularly new, is very well-written and Nat Wolff really brings it to life. The father's story was for me the least intriguing, but still okay.

The cast is top-notch. Kinnear and Connelly, great. Logan Lerman. Yeah, he's golden, end of story. If you want more on that I suggest reading some review on "the perks of being a wallflower" (and btw that's another film to watch if you liked this one). Nat Wolff was amazing, a promising new talent, and I am waiting to see what he does next! And finally, Kristen Bell has a small role, and she is funny as always, a great addition for a bit of a comic break to the film's stream.

In the meantime, the love of books is perpetrating the film. It makes you wanna go and get lost in a book, it reminds you of that feeling when you read something you love, something that completely absorbs you. The little written lines in the character introduction part were also a nice touch.

The movie has a number of unrealistic moments, which other reviewers properly mention. It's just that... I didn't really care much about those little flaws. This is not about whether you are too young to be a published author at the age of 19, or whether it's feasible to carry around an amount of pot enough to make a salad. Realism was not the point. Plus, as Sam says, there are the realists and there are the romantics, and I guess this film is a romantic's work. Just the ending was a bit too happy for my taste - after all, I remain a cynical realist despite loving this film...

Overlook the mediocre ratings, trust that Kinnear and Connelly chose well, and watch this movie. It's simple, it's sweet, it's good stuff.

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48 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Good Flick

Author: Nik Neal from United States
27 July 2013

I will be short and sweet (kind of like the film was) and won't go into a summary as the rest of the well-written and accurate summaries have been thus far. I thought this film was really good. The casting was great, as was the plot and story line. It was a touching story, where despite the indiscretions of a married couple, you had them rooting for each other to find their way back to each other and to bring their family together.

The movie went fast and even though you hoped for a happy ending, you weren't quite sure how it was going to turn out. I won't spoil it, but the ride to the end was worth it. It is a cute, summer drama that is worth checking out.

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57 out of 82 people found the following review useful:

The quintessential "sweet little indie," overflowing with authenticity

Author: larry-411 from United States
5 October 2012

As I make the festival rounds every year I search for that elusive "sweet little American indie." I don't come across them very often, certainly not often enough, but when that moment happens there's a little pitter-patter in my heart as I know I'm witnessing what could be the launching pad for hot new talent -- writers, directors, actors -- who will go on to produce exciting, creative work in the years to come. I found that here in "Writers."

First-time writer/director Josh Boone has crafted an exquisite film which successfully combines several themes that few are able to tackle successfully. Like David Gordon Green's "Snow Angels," my #1 Top Pick of 2007 and one of my favorite indies of the past decade, we see three couples struggling to cope with the primordial human connection -- the innocence and fear of first love, the seesaw of a mature relationship, and the pain of an estranged couple. Ironically (or perhaps not), "Writers" is privileged to have enlisted Green's longtime Director of Photography Tim Orr. But this is a much lighter picture than "Snow Angels," making it especially accessible to young people and families.

Greg Kinnear is William Borgens, the classic what-have-you-done-for-me-lately author who hasn't had a hit in ages but refuses to allow anyone to sense his self-pity. His wife Erica, played by Jennifer Connelly, is the quintessential partner cast aside at the expense of William's inattention and indiscretion. Their teenage children Samantha and Rusty, portrayed by Lily Collins and Nat Wolff, are discovering their own offbeat paths into the wacky world they've inherited. High school student Rusty, in particular, is a struggling writer himself who is beginning to experience the first frightening pangs of adolescent desire. Dad isn't the best role model, after all, but this is a father-son relationship that has promise if either or both can get their acts together. Samantha is in college and headstrong in the ways of a young woman determined to control her life and career at the expense of entering the dating scene and submitting to the wants of a man. Enter Lou (Logan Lerman), the earnest intellectual who'll stop at nothing to win her over.

From top to bottom -- Kinnear, Connelly, Collins, Wolff, Lerman -- "Writers" is perfectly cast. All inhabit their roles as if they created them. In fact, to some extent, that's true as the dialogue's authenticity is at least partly rooted in Boone's generosity in allowing the actors to improvise some of their material (a technique favored by the aforementioned David Gordon Green, as well). Wolff, in particular, takes advantage of this opportunity to add a good deal of the narrative's comic relief with his ad-libbed lines. Interestingly, he did the same in last year's Toronto hit "Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding," in which he played virtually the same character -- a naive youth, physically inexperienced, gently and innocently exploring his potential with the tender yet intimidating opposite sex. Lerman, 19 at the time of filming, played a 15-year-old in his other world premiere selection at this same festival, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." In "Writers," he goes in the opposite direction as a 21-year-old who couldn't be more different from Perks' Charlie. In that film, his role is similar to Wolff's as the vulnerable virgin. Here, he's a self-assured, bright college student who is destined to charm Samantha off her feet. The fact that he can convincingly portray both these characters in two pictures at the same festival is testament to his talent and versatility. As his would-be suitor, young Lily Collins is an able foil to Lerman's advances and wins over the audience with her sharp wit.

The adults who anchor the film deserve far more credit than they're given. Jennifer Connelly, who won an Academy Award opposite Russell Crowe in 2001's "A Beautiful Mind," is a beautiful soul inside and out as the wounded spouse who still has a place in her heart for a potentially loving husband. He still holds a torch for her, as well, an intensely personal plot device that could easily lack credulity in the hands of lesser professionals. Oscar-nominated Kinnear proves once again why he is one of the industry's go-to guys. Few actors handle comedy and drama equally well, and he has no problem convincing the audience as a tormented has-been. He may be down on his luck but retains the earnestness that brought him fame and a loving family not that long ago. He's poised for a comeback and it's a role tailor-made for Kinnear.

The film is technically well-balanced between slick Hollywood production values and a relaxed indie look. Bright lighting belies the turmoil beneath the surface. The quaint beach house setting used in many of the scenes is awash with a color palette of earth tones and rustic furnishings, a counterculture milieu befitting this family of intellectuals. Mike Mogis and Nate Wolcott's score is combined with a soundtrack of indie music featuring Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, whose attraction to the material led him to write original music for the movie.

Tim Orr is truly a master cinematographer. His signature style is the ability to capture beauty in nature and everyday objects -- a dripping gutter here, a playground swing there -- and photography that is comforting, enveloping the actors in a warm glow that matches their affections. Nobody does it better. Boone was truly fortunate to have Orr on board.

"Writers" is overflowing with the authenticity of real life. You'll laugh, you'll cry -- often in the same scene -- and, most of all, you'll empathize with at least one of the characters. There isn't one of us who hasn't experienced the feelings and emotions exhibited by the members of this richly complex family. That's key to this ensemble that features many of our best and brightest young independent film actors. For what I expect a "sweet little American indie" to accomplish, "Writers" is simply perfection.

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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Cold November night flick.

Author: sianpretorius from United Kingdom
21 September 2013

Stuck In Love is the perfect film to be placed in my November film category. This category is specifically for films that make you feel good, make you shed a tear or two and are full of clichés. 'Stuck In Love' is all of these things. I will start with the plot: The film is based on a broken family where the father played by Greg Kinnear (typical dad actor) is still head over heels in love with his ex wife played by Jennifer Connelly. His two children, Sam and Rusty, played by Lily Collins and Nat Wolf have responded to the divorce in different ways and the film follows all four characters as they fall in and out of love.

The script written by, and directed by Josh Boone (new comer) is clichéd to say the least. He uses various quotes from literature to make his characters seem intelligent and interesting. Personally, I love these sort of characters however, I understand other viewers who would find these characters pompous and not very relatable.

Now on to the acting which I think was rather good. Characters who really struck me where Rusty played by Nat Wolf. I feel like he really excelled in the whole second kid syndrome. I didn't necessarily find his characters a refreshing and new character, although I found he played the part extremely well. Kudos to you man. As for Lily Collins, compared to her other work I think it's safe to say she's making better choices. I mean what was abduction all about? I think her character was more interesting, she played the douche bag girl which was interesting as it's usually the douche bag guy. Logan Lerman was well Logan Lerman. He wasn't the central character which, I think made me like him more. But hey, what can I say? He's totally adorable but nothing to call home about. Greg Kinnear is also Greg Kinnear. I'm pretty sure he plays the exact same dude in every freaking film. I swear William the dad from Stuck In Love is Steve the dad from The Last Song. I love Kinnear and would love him to just do something a little bit more interesting and out of his comfort zone.

Overall, Stuck In Love was a clichéd film from clichéd land. But everybody loves a clichéd film now and then? I really enjoyed it. Josh Boone is going to direct The Fault In Our Stars which makes me feel a little relieved and a little excited. Stuck In Love scores 6 Kayne Faces.

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26 out of 40 people found the following review useful:

Dear me if I hear "authentic" one more time someone will have to die

Author: xhidden99 from United States
12 February 2014

Because if this is anything it's a fantasy by writers about writers for people who think they want to be writers. Everyone is brilliant I insightful charming warm caring and infinitely forgiving of the people who screw them over the hardest. They even tend to the sick and have hot chocolate with the black maid. Except for the Lilly Collins character. She's a narcissistic bully trying to be Diablo Cody age 20 going on 55 trying to be 17. Everyone totally gets and loves everyone. Girls will sleep with you before the first date. Anyone under the age of 25 instantly knows every social and pop reference including all literature for the past half century. And I don't know what smartphones they have but they sound better than my home theater. Ms. Bell steals the show with her smart funny role but her character is sadly not realistic with the nearly 20 year difference of her "buddy". Kinnear plays to type: depressed. Ms Connelly also plays to type; angry needy clingy yet bossy and passive aggressive. But the takeaway is that if you want to be a published novelist with your first and only book all you need is to be smart and sassy.

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22 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Great and Realistic Independent Drama

Author: Slasher_Lover23 from United States
9 October 2013

Stuck in Love follows William Borgens (Greg Kinnear), an author who is still wallowing through his separation from his wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly). William and Erica's children; Samantha (Lilly Collins) and Rusty (Nat Wolff) are also aspiring writers going through different phases of love. Samantha resents her mother and refuses to believe in love, even when she is being pursued by hopeless romantic Louis (Logan Lerman). Rusty, also a believer in love, tries to pursue his crush Kate (Liana Liberato). During the course of the film, the characters begin to learn lessons about love and the long road called life.

Stuck in Love is a marvelous independent drama that deals with the different dynamics of love and how it affects us all. The whole cast does an excellent job with the material and really bring the characters and their emotions to life. Greg Kinnear turns in a great and sometimes comedic performance as we watch his character struggle the line of believing in love and moving on. But the most impressive performances come from our younger stars. Lilly Collins most notably turns in the strongest performance as a young woman who is struggling between different types of love, the ability to return love with her pursuer Louis, and the love her mother is trying to earn back. Logan Lerman returns with as much of a charming performance as he showed in The Perks of Being a Wallflower as the boy who is trying to win Samantha's heart. Nat Wolff plays a similar character who is trying to win over his own crush, despite the obstacles that may come in his way. What makes Stuck in Love so different from other love stories is that it's not just some cheesy romantic story, it deals with the different dynamics of love and heartbreak that we all will go through in life. The script and the actors do an incredible job of bringing this all to reality in a way that we can really feel what they are going through and give us something to relate to.

My rating: 10/10

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Incredibly fake nonsense

Author: mtta1
15 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

From the first scene, wherein a grown man crawls in the bushes to see his ex-wife have sex with the blinds open, and his old dog barks at him through the window, and then miraculously appears outside on the lawn and chases him down the street without reason, viewers are "stuck" with a movie so unreal each scene reeks of incongruity with the strength of a dead skunk. This is the kind of movie where teens rip bongs on their roofs, talk casually about sex and suicide with their parents, and make out with obviously 28-year-old dudes in their high school hallway. And of course things GET SERIOUS later on, as if anyone could possibly sit through the duration without considering a post to ripoff report for wasting everyone's time and money. Perchance if I were Shanghai-ed at sea for weeks on end, I would not finish this movie due to the fact that I would prefer to focus on my own nausea and stare at a puddle of my own vomit.

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21 out of 35 people found the following review useful:


Author: ttrabue-106-208742 from United States
9 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just, no. It has worthwhile aspects. It's about intelligent, literate people. I imagine they can find Brazil and count to 100. The scenery is beautiful. Everyone wants a California beach house. The cast is beautiful. The story is interesting but it's also immoral, shallow and predictable. I'm not a big Greg Kinnear fan, please shave. The opening peeping tom scene is just creepy. Ick; no thank you; my eyes, my eyes; dude there are things you cannot un-see. Is it just me, it's wrong to have casual sex with your married neighbor. Don't do it; failing that stop claiming to be "waiting"; failing that at least feel bad about it. Our lead displays none of those emotions. I get it, your ex-wife is banging a hunk with a six pack; you can't just stand there. I am not a stone. If Kristen Bell says 20 minutes I'm in trouble but you do not get to cheat on your spouse simply because he or she did first. These people are shallow. Although; perhaps not by Hollywood standards. Life offers lots of bad experiences too; to those, just say no. Here's a spoiler we never get any clues as to what happens to Kate, she's disposable. The worst part is I didn't expect to. I spent my evening correctly predicting huge parts of this movie and it wasn't all due to good foreshadowing. Here comes the dog. She gets drunk. She's dead. It feels like a copy of a copy. It doesn't ring true. It's deeply, desperately, passionately in love with whats-her-name.

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22 out of 37 people found the following review useful:

Stuck in indifference

Author: SteveMierzejewski from Poland
24 September 2013

If you can believe any of these people are real writers, then you are far less cynical than I am. Would Scribners really publish the sexploits of a 19-year-old? Would Stephen King call a 16-year-old to tell him how much he loved his story? Not in my world where there is something we call, reality.

Yes, this is about different types of love. Strangely, all of the love connections shown here are dysfunctional. Maybe that's the point that the filmmakers are trying to make. Who knows? All the actors seem to be acting out their roles well enough; however, they seem to have no inclination to interact with anyone else. Maybe I was not in the right mood for this film, but I never felt any true connections between any of these people. All attempts to wring feelings from us, the audience, just fell flat because, in truth, we had very little sympathy for anyone. Maybe it was because they were trying to cram too much into one movie. Maybe if they had focused on just one or two of the relationships, we would have developed some emotional connections with the participants. As it eventuated, however, we ended up stuck in an emotional limbo that did not, in any stretch of the imagination, approximate love.

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15 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

The actors all tackle their roles with authenticity and arresting performances.

Author: GoneWithTheTwins from
12 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It opens with a surprisingly unconventional method of defining attraction with high schooler Katie (Liana Liberato) having a nosebleed while sleeping at her desk, with Rusty Borgens (Nat Wolff) admiring her from a few tables over. Later, it's made clear that she suffers from a cocaine addiction and that he has a crush on the party girl. Meanwhile, William Borgens (Greg Kinnear) refuses to give up on his ex-wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly), even though she remarried two years ago to a younger, fitter man (Rusty Joiner) Bill routinely snoops around her house hoping to satisfyingly see the couple argue. His stalking doesn't go unnoticed, however, and at his Thanksgiving dinner, son Rusty and daughter Samantha (Lily Collins) confront him about his unhealthy obsession and inability to move on with his life. 19-year-old Samantha is a damaged girl, finding success in writing, like her father, but unwilling to engage in a meaningful relationship, after witnessing the way her parents separated. She's promiscuous, cynical, and severe, refusing to waste time with flirtation or anything that resembles dating; she blames her mother and hasn't spoken to her since the divorce. Her initial conventions are nearly irredeemable. When fellow student Lou Murphy (Logan Lerman) insists on wooing Sam in the old-fashioned manner, with intelligence, wit, kindness, and romantic activities, she recoils vehemently from his advances, terrified to commit or to give anyone the opportunity to break her heart. He sees their occasionally heated dialogue as sparring; she views it as harassment. When she discovers that Lou's mother is slowly dying from a brain tumor, her standards change quite suddenly; partly out of pity and partially from succumbing to his charm, she reluctantly agrees to date the boy. If "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" spoke to audiences because of its nonconformity to conventional raunchy depictions of teenage life and the utilization of overly intelligent outsiders seeking connection, "Stuck in Love" demonstrates a more realistic, harsher take on that same notion of portraying less common adolescent viewpoints. There's more recognition here for the use of drugs, meaningless sex, and the cold-heartedness of undeveloped minds battling condemnation and regret. Each of the characters start off with societal problems that eventually find love to be the catholicon. Unfortunately, despite the uniqueness of the behavioral botherations, the culmination of each storyline is painfully predictable. But the actors all tackle their roles with authenticity and arresting performances (even down to the minor bit part for Kristen Bell as adulterous neighbor Tricia Walcott), successfully walking the line between dramatic and irritating. The film wishes to compare and contrast romance versus realism as it applies to relationships. Father and son share the idealistic, fantasy outlooks, while mother and daughter embrace the depressing attitudes of stark truths containing no airy hope; existences that clash as anti-comedy material. Despite the dynamic patterns of characters learning to possess the lighter, more idealistically human qualities necessary for a picturesque romance, "Stuck in Love" is most consistently a drama and one that goes on for too long. It's not excessive in details but rather spans a period of time (a little more than one year) that gives the audience time to tire of the cast, especially when their actions are alternately expectedly bitter and formulaically redemptive.

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