A review of ďA Lot Like LoveĒ by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: ** 1/2

Rating: PG-13 for profanity and adult situations

Run Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

 

Is it a lot like love or just a lot like the hundreds of quirky romantic comedies that have come before it?Ashton Kutcher is surprisingly well-rounded in this precocious laugher that manages some fresh tangents before dissolving into conventional pabulum.

Great big man-child Oliver Martin (Kutcher) first meets manic punk-rocker Emily Friehl (Amanda Peet) at the airport, where they seal the deal by becoming the newest members of the Mile High Club.

Flash forward to a span of seven years, during which the pair runs into each other sporadically and rekindles the flickering flame. Maturity levels and lifestyles change according to the logistics of geography and serendipity but the song remains the same. Canít live with you and canít live without you.

That same-time-next-year sensibility is wallowing in charm and Kutcher and Peet work it with nervous energy and emotional gusto. Good chemistry dictates that Oliver and Emily will make believable lovers but the screenwriters go to unnecessary lengths to prove that the couple is destined to be together forever.

Beguiling moments of sweetness (relationship with a deaf brother) and intelligence (timely job insecurities) are punctuated with a plethora of music montages meant to please Kutcherís teen to twenty-something fans. Climax can be spotted a mile off, a disappointing throwaway that cries uncle in the face of a smart conclusion.

Bottom line Love is too cute for its own good, ultimately drowning in formula and gasping for an easy chic that it never quite attains.