A film that makes me happy. Oh so many! This isn’t a famous film but it’s called A Lot Like Love. It’s a romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet, two people who randomly meet and encounter each other over a number of years.
It’s one of those films that I can just watch and watch again and it never gets tired. I can simply take joy in watching the story unfold. The basic story is that Ashton Kutcher’s character, Oliver, is pretty straight-laced and has a strict view of how he sees his life unfolding while Emily (Amanda Peet) is much more of a free spirit and is more likely to throw caution to the wind. After an initial tryst they realize they have a deeper connection but their lives seem to be heading in different directions. Over the course of the film they keep encountering each other but it’s never the right time and there are so many near misses.
It’s a film that I can empathize with because I’ve been in similar situations, and I know in some romantic comedies the forces separating the two protagonists can seem contrived but here they seem like natural and believable developments in two people’s lives, and I love the idea that you can meet someone and click, and even though you only connect with them for what really is a short amount of time in the grand scheme of things they have an incredibly important impact on your life. That’s what happens to these two characters, and I think we all make plans in life and we all set goals and we think about where we’re going to be in 5,10,15 years but it never all goes to plan. There’s a great line in this film and it basically amounts to, “This is your life, it’s happening right now, live it.” I’m sure many of my writer peers are similar to me in that we spend a lot of time thinking and ruminating and reflecting on the world, setting grand plans in motion and sometimes we’re probably guilty of letting life pass us by.
So I find this film sweet, funny, heart-wrenching and the climax is handled superbly. It feels very authentic and there’s a good balance of joy and frustration. There are also some really beautiful shots so the cinematography is excellent. The soundtrack is awesome too with many recognizable songs giving some extra context to the scenes. I find it very affirming and it’s one of my all-time favourites. It’s just one of those films that has a certain hold over me, sadly my life hasn’t progressed as ideally as I planned out in my head but hopefully I’m on the right track, and this film offers me some hope and a safe haven when I need a pick-me-up.