Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stuck in Love

It's been a while since I've written a movie review; I watched Stuck in Love yesterday. It's a sweet indie rom-com that comes full circle, perhaps somewhat dulled by its rehashed storyline but memorable because of its cast.

Stuck in Love tells the story of a family of writers, starring Greg Kinnear as best-selling writer Bill Borgens. Bill, still in love with his ex-wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly), has lost the will to write; Bill's daughter, Sam (Lilly Collins), is devastated by her mother's 'betrayal' and doesn't believe in love until she meets Lou (Logan Lerman), a good-natured, borderline naive boy who is determined to win her heart (I apologize profusely for the platitude). Sam's brother Rusty (Nat Wolff) is romantic and awkward, falling for and idealizing Kate (Liana Liberato), who is a recovering alcoholic.

Flaws, first: Collins and Lerman's chemistry isn't Dicaprio-Winslet but works sufficiently, partly because they both have an 'indie' vibe to them that works for the movie. The film also had an all-too 'complete circle' feel to it - including irrational plot jumps and lack of theme/character development - that diminished its standing as a 'serious' indie film.

Then again, it wasn't intended as one but succeeds as an artsy film nonetheless, especially with its recurring theme of writing/books.

“I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone's heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.”

Sylvia Plath

On this day 81 years ago, Sylvia Plath was born in Boston; she would go on to become, as Joyce Carol Oates put it, "one of the most celebrated and controversial of postwar poets writing in English." It's a pity, therefore, that when people remember Plath they first think of her suicide and not her poems, which trap her anguish and imagination in strict-tempoed lines, unveiling them to each new reader.

Plath's poems have taught me to rhyme deftly and repeat with subtlety; among her poems, Daddy, Lady Lazarus, A Mad Girl's Love Song, A Life, April Aubade remain as some of my favourites. Her poems carry a feminine grace yet maintain the temperament of a woman who, as Ted Hughes declared, "saw her world in the flame of the ultimate substance and the ultimate depth."

May her poems be ever-treasured and read.