For reasons of commerce exclusively, Brandon Camp's debut film, Love Happens," is being sold as a Jennifer Aniston romcom.
Far from it. It's an Aaron Eckhart dramedy.
Jennifer Aniston may be the most generous screen performer today, something her callous detractors willfully refuse to acknowledge. She was a team player in "He's Just Not That Into You," she indulged a dog (actually many of them) and the dog-eyed Owen Wilson in "Marley and Me" and she stepped back and let the incorrigible Steve Zahn, at long last, have his moment in the spotlight in "Management."
And in each film, she was terrific herself, her role in "Management" possibly being the most fascinating woman's part this year, bar none.
As for "Love Happens," she hands the material - about a self-help guru, newly widowed, who has to learn to help himself - over to Eckhart. Aniston is essentially playing a part that's in support to his star turn here.
It's a serious film. There's nothing romantic or comedic about it. And it works because Eckhart is so commanding as a deeply flawed man. His scenes with Martin Sheen, playing his character's grieving father-in-law, incited my imagination.
I could just see these two as father and son in a remake of "I Never Sang for My Father," played nearly 40 years ago by Melvyn Douglas and Gene Hackman for director Gilbert Cates. And, come to think of it, Aniston would be great in the sister role originally played by Estelle Parsons. I can dream, can't I?
Note in Passing: Kim Morgan defends Jennifer Aniston. Bravo!