Stuck In Love

"I remember it hurt, looking at her hurt"

I already found myself fixating on something that is fake.
This film was a whole new kind of rom com.
I discovered pain, emotion, all whilst laughing.
Josh Boone took something so cliche and made it so loveable.
Yes, it had the usual story line. Divorced parents, ones not over the other, one of the kids hates one of their parents. The 'looser' of a son gets his true love and the other finds true love after she thought she never could. But, trust me when I say it is phenomenal.

                                              Rusty and Kate. 

Teenage love is hard, we all know that. But it's not just the story of Rusty having sex and finally been happy. It shows that even the prettiest of them all, the most popular girl(s) have problems. Kate? She's a drug addict, border line alcoholic and she's only 16. Rusty discovers that even something that wasn't Kate's fault made his first love shatter. He experienced heart break and didn't dismiss it. He endured it and allowed himself to hurt, for the first time in his life.

                                               Samantha and Lou

Sam never got that one night out of her head.
Her mum leaving her...
"And I remember Martin saying, what about Bill? What if Bill see's? And my mom replied, I don't care...I don't care"
Sam puts up this barrier, a wall, which places a safety net that covers her pain. She doesn't want to feel hurt, she wants to feel numb. Numb to love and trusting someone, the way she thought she could trust her mum. But she only finds 'love' will burn down her wall, make her too vulnerable and prove her theory right on love - or the premise of her book on love, in the film.
Relationships, trust? No, she never wants that. But Lou. He teaches her that it's ok to hurt, to feel and to trust someone as if your life is in their hands.
She doesn't want to have these feelings but unfortunately, plans don't always follow what you intended them to do and Sam learns to love another and herself.

There is a pivotal part in the film where Lou plays Sam his favourite song (Elliot Smith- Between The Bars). Sam closes her eyes (and now this is where great directing comes in) and you can see through silence, rain and a side shot of her face that in the moment she has discovered what it is truly like to lose, gain and love someone.
The short lived dialogue speaks a thousand words and if that isn't enough to get you fixed and invested in their love story, then I am sure the music in the background made you tingle with excitement.

"I'm so scared right now"
"I know, I know"
"I don't wanna get hurt"
"I'm not gonna hurt you"

Unlike many rom coms, although I love the classic storyline, inspired by a Romeo and Juliet 'should I, shouldn't I?' - Stuck in Love teaches the audience a lot of things about love.
1) It's ok to be afraid of something you've never had before
2) Letting go of something you've framed your life around, doesn't mean you have to be cynical forever
3) Being damaged doesn't mean you're a damaged person. It means you're human
And finally, to find hope in even the darkest of your days.

Lou didn't give up on Sam and even though critics would claim him to save Sam - I actually think that this romance sparked something in him too. The fact his mum died (after living with a brain tumour) and Sam saved him in the end, isn't portraying a 'damsel in distress' story line but a story which inspires an audience to not give up on love. You do stupid things for love, such as invite your girlfriend's mum who she hates and hasn't spoken to in over a year, to her book signing.

I find the strongest and most emotionally captivating part of the film is when his Lou's mum dies. It shows that once you're in love, you're more than likely going to be stuck in it. People make mistakes after all.


Sam despises her mum for leaving but her dad, Bill did the same when Sam was younger. He left and Erica said to him;
"If I ever do anything as stupid as that, wait for me"
He waited. For 3 years.

Something must be mentioned before I go into the critically inspiring ending of my post.
FIRSTLY, congratulations on bringing back journals, writing and reading into this film. The dad is a famous author. He inspires his children to write, produce and create content of their lives. It brings to life all the things kids want to do but feel is odd in the century we have been born into. But I believe this film brings back the need for writing. Alongside this, the music. WOW. Not only does it place and drop the right tracks during the most emotional, uplifting and terrifying moments in the film but it has also made the perfect sound track for cooking in the kitchen or a road trip. Well done to Varèse Sarabande for producing this spectacular soundtrack.

Anyway, Erica returns on the second Thanks Giving of the film. And whilst this does annoy me to an extent, I guess it fits in well with the idea of rekindling past mistakes. However, I would have just happily settled for Mum and daughter making friends again. But you can't help but root for the indiscretions of the parents to settle and the family to come back together. So whilst it wasn't needed, it was a good ending to a fantastic story.
(Side note: the letter from Kate was a great extra. It made sure Rusty's emotional instability could finally be put at ease for the story to move along to the end.)

Nevertheless, I loved the film. I thought it was inspiring, in a cynical sort of way, seen as the film doesn't really have even 20 minutes happy before it comes booming down. But it showed me that even if you have been hurt, good can come of it. You can learn, alter and mend being broken. Love? Well that's a tad more complicated but it's ok to be scared of love and it's most definitely acceptable to be stuck in it.



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