This adult oriented romance film is not your typical romantic comedy. Actually there is very little comedy to be found. It is filled with serious undertones as it deals with the death of loved ones. It touches on new love, old love, relationships with your in-laws, and the loss of a child. As you can tell this is a more realistic twist on the usual romantic film. And while I will not shout about it from the hilltops it was an enjoyable diversion.
Burke Ryan (Aaron Eckhart) is a motivational speaker who talks about dealing with the loss of a loved one. His own wife (Michelle Harrison) died in a car accident three years ago and so he wrote a self-help book about moving on from death that became a best-seller. Burke and his agent/best friend Lane (Dan Fogler) are hosting a conference in Seattle and in the middle of negotiations for a huge multi-media deal to get his own syndicated talk show and DVD release.
The ironic thing about it all is that Burke himself has not moved on. He has not dated anyone since his wife's death and really just has his work. Hiding his pain has become something he is an expert at. He drinks Grey Goose vodka in private, but only tomato juice in public. He has never even spoken to his in-laws since his wife's death. Burke is just existing and not really "living".
His coasting through life seems to come to a crashing halt when he meets the free-spirited Eloise (Jennifer Aniston). Eloise owns her own flower shop and has just ended another in her long line of dysfunctional relationships. They meet par hazard at the hotel in which Burke's conference is being held. Although the beginning is bumpy, to say the least, they soon develop an attraction. The question becomes whether these two lost souls can help heal each other.
Though there is some romance involved in the film the chemistry between Eckhart and Aniston is not the greatest nor is it bad enough to ruin the film. It just could be better. The two leads do not quite create sparks nor does the attempt at sadness within the plot bring you to tears. Despite the problems with the story each of the two leads does have their moments. Aniston is solid, but is not stretching her acting muscles as she is basically playing herself – as a florist. Eckhart has a kind of natural charm about him that sometimes manages to outshine the plot problems and clichés.
It is a strange or different kind of film and despite its problems or maybe because of them, it is hard not to like this film. The film is likable, the characters are for the most part relatable and, other than the constant rain, Seattle looks like a beautiful city. Still you leave thinking that the film did not live up to its potential. With two incredibly likable actors you should have liked the film a lot more.