THE ROMCOM BUSINESS is seized with denial, with each chick flick after the other claiming to be "more than the usual romantic comedy." This can be read as disrespectful toward actual fans of romantic comedies—good ones do exist—and can be loosely translated to mean, "It doesn't suck this time, we swear." And while it's true Love Happens deals with unfunny topics like grieving, and is not romantic at all, it's also a baffling potpourri of indelicate clashes of marketing schmaltz and stabs at emotional resonance.
Our leading man is Burke, a cheesy, creepily evangelical self-help guru (Aaron Eckhart), which would be thoroughly unappealing even if he weren't also kind of a fraud. Enter Eloise (Jennifer Aniston, who always looks the same, but wears fingerless gloves to indicate that her character is from Seattle), who has the ultimate romcom occupation: florist.
Neither of them make sense, apart or together, and moreover they're dumb and unlikable, like when they steal Burke's dead wife's pet parrot from her parents and "free it" in a Pacific Northwest forest (dicks!). Sure, it's not the usual--but as usual, it's not good.