After the death of his wife, Burke Ryan writes a book about dealing with grief, which goes on to be a huge best-seller across America. He begins to run self-help seminars aimed at helping people deal with their grief, and soon finds himself in Seattle holding a workshop, and also trying to broken a major media deal for his products. He by chance bumps into florist Eloise Chandler when she's arranging flowers at the hotel where the workshops are being held. The two slowly begin to make friends, and eventually go out to dinner. Eloise, however, realises something is amiss with Burke, that he hasn't dealt with his own grief over his wife despite helping hundreds of other people deal with theirs. Can she make Burke realise he needs to let go of his own demons before he can begin to live and love again?
It's actually nice to see a movie which isn't set in New York or LA or one of those over-used parts of America. The setting of Seattle is good, it is quite picturesque throughout the movie, although the rain somewhat puts me off a bit! The movie makes full use of the city, and its nice to see. I don't remember any specific songs from the soundtrack but I do remember that it was nice as I was watching it. The songs complemented the feel of the movie well, and didn't take over the scenes and dialogue which was nice. Yes, the film was a bit predictable because I guessed the ending, but I really enjoyed the journey it took to get there. It was emotional, especially some of the group therapy scenes but they were sensitively handled and I thought the director did a great job with these.
The cast are also very good in the movie. Eckhart is Burke Ryan, the man with 2 different persona's, and I feel he pulls that off well. He definitely has his public face, but I far more enjoyed his private one, the one he has with Eloise. I feel Eckhart portrayed Burke's mixed emotions really well, and you can tell he has an internal struggle with himself through the film. He had a really good on-screen chemistry with Aniston who played opposite him as love interest Eloise. I actually really enjoyed her performance, it wasn't a comedic one, it wasn't too loud and brash and she did really well with it. Aniston plays the softly spoken florist with integrity, and it's one of her better roles in a long time. However, for me the stand out performance came from John Carroll Lynch, who plays Walter, a man attending Burke's grief help group after the death of his young son. I was in tears watching some of his scenes, his emotion and pain seem so real and raw you can't help but feel it along with him and his performance was stunning.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this film and how much I enjoyed it. The setting was lovely and really gave the film a good depth and allowed for the melancholy mood of a lot of the scenes. I felt the cast did a really job given the requirements of their characters, in particular I have to complement Eckhart and Lynch on their roles. It was pretty long and could have been shorter in parts, but once you're into watching it, it's very enjoyable and a pleasant watch. If you don't like slow burning movies then this won't be for you but I certainly enjoyed it. Love Happens isn't anything new, it's not ground breaking but if you lose yourself in it, you'll be nicely surprised. I have to say the beautiful flowers and floral displays that Eloise creates suring the movie are lovely and add a bit of colour into the film. I would certainly recommend it.