Review: Rom-com ‘No Stranger Than Love’ has a hole in its heart
Everybody loves Lucy, the perky art teacher played by Alison Brie in “No Stranger Than Love.”
But few will likely embrace the insufferably chirpy, high-concept rom-com that struggles to stretch a mighty shallow premise into a feature-length proposition.
When Lucy confesses to married high school coach Clint (Colin Hanks) that she loves him, he plummets down a giant, dark hole that suddenly materializes in the middle of her house, essentially putting the kibosh on their intended tryst.
In the hands of say, a Charlie Kaufman, the film might have utilized that literal “taking the plunge” set-up to move the story into some intriguing places, but the only direction this first directorial effort by Nick Wernham travels is circular.
With a cloyingly mannered script by Steve Adams (a nephew of the late Kurt Vonnegut) and broadly-drawn characters that remain stuck to the page despite the energetic efforts of Brie and company, the Canadian production settles for sitcom-style conventions.
By the time Wernham and Adams attempt to tackle more substantial themes in the third act, it’s all too little, too late — they’ve already lost their audience down that deep hole in Lucy’s living room.
‘No Stranger Than Love’
MPAA rating: R for language
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Playing: Arena Cinema, Hollywood
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