Movie Review: ‘Love Happens’ starring Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart, and Dan Fogler

January 8, 2021

“Love Happens” (PG-13) reviewed by Jennifer Anne F. Messing.

Love Happens is an engaging, contemporary romance–drama about a bestselling author promoting his book on the subject of overcoming grief at a much-awaited seminar. It’s a one-hour, forty-nine minute, 2009 Universal Pictures movie release, in color, directed by Brandon Camp and starring Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart, and Dan Fogler.

Burke Ryan (played by Aaron Eckhart) arrives in Seattle together with his fiery agent, Lane Marshall (Dan Fogler) to conduct a week-long, highly-focused seminar about dealing with grief. Burke’s goal is to help his attendees successfully process the different stages of grief which he covers in his book. Lane, as always, Burke’s ever-savvy publicist and conference assistant, stays busy looking for added opportunities to make money from the success of Burke’s book on TV and radio.

One day Burke meets and takes an interest in the hotel’s florist, Eloise Chandler (Jennifer Aniston), but when he attempts to introduce himself and become acquainted with her, he encounters a closed door. At this point in his seminar, some things surface making Burke realize he is attempting to help people heal from grief and pain but has not yet fully healed from his own.

Burke eventually gets an opportunity to converse with Eloise and subsequently invites her to dinner. He finds himself drawn to and attracted to Eloise, and senses perhaps she may even reciprocate his feelings. But as long as the ghosts from his past still exist, he encounters roadblocks in moving forward in a possible relationship with her as well as in finishing the remaining “steps to healing” in his seminar. Finally, Eloise challenges—but also helps Burke take the necessary steps to face his past that he desperately wants to pretend doesn’t exist.

Love Happens is an intelligent and sensitively-written drama about an author whose best-selling book holds so much promise for his future—yet whose emotional wounds and scars, if not dealt with, threaten his integrity and future success as an author, as well as in matters of the heart. His actions demonstrate how stubborn we humans can be, or how many times we can remain in denial about things that exist in our lives which are hindering us from becoming healthy and whole individuals. Viewers will find it easy to relate to Burke’s inner turmoil, his inability to forgive himself, and his deep longing to start living life to the fullest.

There is much to enjoy in Love Happens: the sparkling dialogue and emotionally-moving musical score, beautiful city scenery, top-notch acting and the magical chemistry between the lead players Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston. A strong support-role performance is tendered by Dan Vogler. An entertaining movie for date night . . . enjoy!


Movie Trailer: “Love Happens” stars Jennifer Aniston, Aaron Eckhart, and Dan Fogler

Drama/Romance. Rated PG-13. Recommended for family viewing, with viewers ages 13 and up. Parental guidance suggested. Photo credits: Universal Pictures.

Check your favorite online streaming service, movie rental source, or the public library for availability.

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Jennifer Anne F. Messing' s third book, Love's Faithful Promise: Heart-stirring Short Stories and Poems of Romance and Faith (print/e-book) was named winner of the 2020 American Fiction Awards “Christian Inspirational“ category. She is a Cascade Writing Contest winner and five-time finalist (“Published Short Story” in 2018, 2019, and 2021), a multi-published author, poet, and worship leader. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A past president of the Oregon Christian Writers, she has authored three award-winning books and more than 250 articles, short stories, and poems published in 60 magazines, including: The Storyteller, Flurries of Words, LIVE, Evangel, FellowScript, and The Proverbs 31 Woman.

Philippine-born, Jennifer Anne has been married to Michael Messing for 31 years. They are the parents of three adult children and a son-in-law, grandparents of three young boys, and reside in Oregon, USA.

Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. Get information about her other books, Morning's Promise: Poetic Moments in His Presence and Everlasting Love: Romantic Vignettes for a Woman’s Heart on this website, on Amazon, and Barnes&Noble online.

Copyrighted © by Jennifer Anne Fabregas Messing. All rights reserved. Contact the author for reprint information. Email:

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