Cast members Jennifer Aniston (L) and Aaron Eckhart of the new film "Love Happens" pose at the film's premiere in Los Angeles September 15, 2009.
The generic title is a good indication of this movie's blandness and predictability. "Love Happens" might just as well have been called "Falling in Love" or "Love Affair," but those titles have been used.
"Love Happens" isn't even an accurate description of the movie, which opens Friday via Universal. Although it is being sold as a romantic comedy, Jennifer Aniston's role is distinctly secondary, and she has zero chemistry with Aaron Eckhart.
He plays Burke Ryan, a self-help guru and best-selling author trying to help people recover from the devastating loss of a loved one. Burke still is wrestling with his wife's death three years earlier; his grief prompted him to launch a lucrative business. While he's conducting a weeklong seminar in Seattle, the city where his wife died, he meets Aniston's Eloise, a local florist, and she helps him to start heeding the advice he has been feeding to others.
But the romance seems more of an afterthought than a central strand of the story. Although Aniston's name on the marquee might draw a few people to the theater, "Love" isn't strong enough as comedy or drama to sustain audience interest.