In general, I'm not really one for the one-size-fits all writing advice. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa. Writing is an incredibly personal process and the ways in which we approach it are as unique as we are. That said, I will recommend Stuck in Love to absolutely every writer I know. Even if it doesn't become one of your favorite movies, like it is mine, I think it is one that all writers will enjoy.
- The movie is all about writers
Almost all of the main characters in the story write in some capacity. Some are published authors, others are still working on their first novels, or practicing their writing skills. They talk about the writing process and the writing life and how it can sometimes sit uncomfortably against the other relationships and responsibilities of our lives.
- They talk a lot about books they love
Being writers, these characters quote some amazing works of fiction and reference a lot of novels that I have loved or have since added to my TBR list. From quoting Raymond Carver, to characters connecting over a love for Dear Mr. Henshaw, this is a movie made for book lovers. Books and writing are at the center of these characters' worlds.
- The characters are imperfect
If you have trouble writing characters that are complex, then this is the film for you. There are some characters, like Sam, that are hard to like sometimes, but we fully understand why. They sometimes make dumb decisions or act against their best interests; they are achingly imperfect, but that is what makes them feel so real.
- Ensemble storytellling
If you are struggling to juggle multiple points of view or to tell a story about a group of people, this movie is a masterclass. There are a lot of storylines, but they are balanced and interwoven in really seamless ways. It is hard to tell story with disparate perspectives where each perspective is compelling.
- Love is messy
Some movies fall into the Hollywood tropes where love is some perfect and magical thing, where you fall in love and then it's time for happily ever after, fade to black. Stuck in Love is not one of those films. It knows that people can love each other and not be together, that love doesn't mean that terrible things don't happen, that love can hurt more than anything else. It is imperfect and messy. Love doesn't redeem all of these characters faults, but they do come to realize some things about themselves as a result of their forays into and out of love.
Aside from the reasons listed above, the soundtrack is great and the cast is amazing. It is a movie that I go back to again and again. At the time of this post, it isn't available streaming on the major services (Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime), but it frequently makes the rounds on all services at one point or another, so keep an eye out.