GREEN'S "DAY BY DAY EXPERIMENT IN REALLY BAD DECISIONS" REVIEW:
Burke Ryan (Aaron Eckhart) has written a self help book on dealing with grief and moving on with it. He never expected anyone would want to read it when he wrote it. Now he's traveling city to city leading self-help workshops based on the popularity of his book. Lane (Dan Fogler), Burke's promoter, brings his tour to Seattle, unchecked emotions begin to surface about Burke's secret that he didn't expect. During the week long seminar, he bumps into Eloise (Jennifer Aniston), owner of a small flower shop. After a rough beginning, they become friends and she helps him deal with his pain without even knowing what it's all about.
This film, I think, was inappropriately named and is therefore misleading. Based on that, you'd think this movie was just some sappy romantic comedy but it is actually more than that. It's actually another study on how an individual deals with grief, specifically the loss of a loved one.
Aaron Eckhart is a very underrated and versatile actor. He does a convincing job in his lead role. Jennifer Aniston is my favorite Hollywood actress and she also gives a good performance, even though her character is not as fully developed as I'd like. There's one scene of her character's ex and then he's out of the film - his other scenes are found in the deleted scenes on the DVDs extras - which makes that one scene seem out of place. Excellent supporting roles from Martin Sheen and John Carroll Lynch help the film have more emotional depth.
This is Brandon Camp's feature directorial debut and he does a decent job - meaning he doesn't call attention to himself for crappy directing but neither is his debut outstanding. He co-wrote the script and I always say it helps when the screenwriter is also the director because he, better than anyone, knows his story and what he wants it to say. So I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here, until he has more credits on his resume.
The DVD extras include a feature length commentary, deleted scenes and a short bit on how green screen was used to insert the background shots for some of the key scenes.
This is the second time I've watched this movie. The first was in the theater, as I always go and see all of Aniston's movies, no matter what, on opening day. I waited for a while to buy the DVD until the price came down under $10. This movie is a worthwhile rental from your video supplier or your local library.
*** out of *****
Love Happens (2009, PG-13, 109 minutes) starring Aaron Eckhart, Jennifer Aniston, Dan Fogler, John Carroll Lynch, Martin Sheen and Judy Greer. Written by Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson. Directed by Brandon Camp.