I don’t remember when and why I downloaded this movie but it feels that it’s sitting on my hard drive forever so I finally decided to watch it.
It’s not the worst movie ever but it sure is boring, predictable and bland. Sam has one-night-stands so she doesn’t fall in love and then one guy shows up and is nice to her and she immediately falls in love for him and both her parents end up together. That’s a big shock that nobody saw coming.
Kristen Bell is usually a fun actress but she had very little screen time and Jennifer Connelly is capable of more than this if given more screen time as well.
Novelist Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear) has been struggling to keep it together after his wife Erica (Jennifer Connelly) left him for a younger man three years ago. Instead of working on a new book, he obsesses about his ex, spies on her and her new husband while pretending to be jogging, and insists that their sixteen-year-old son, Rusty (Nat Wolff), set a place at the Thanksgiving table for Erica every year, even though she never comes.
This Thanksgiving, their 19-year-old daughter Sam (Lily Collins) comes home from college with momentous news: her first novel has been accepted for publication. Bill is thrilled, since he has been raising his children to be writers since birth, and annoyed, since she wrote the book without any help from him. When he suggests that Sam share her good news with Erica, she balks, refusing to have anything to do with the woman she believes betrayed her father.
Deeply wounded by her mother’s departure, Sam has constructed a wall between love and her. She pursues only one-night stands and uncommitted hookups to protect herself from being hurt. When her classmate Lou (Logan Lerman) tries to initiate a real relationship with her, she ridicules him and leaves before she has to reveal that he has touched her. When Lou stops coming to the writing seminar they both attend, Sam tracks him down and follows him to the house where his mother is dying. Not even cynical Sam can resist Lou’s gallantry in the face of tragedy.
Meanwhile, Rusty is just the kind of guy his sister abhors—romantic, needy and hoping to rescue a damsel in distress. He gets his chance when Kate (Liana Liberato), the secret crush he dedicates his poetry to, has a fight with her abusive boyfriend; he steps in. Even though Kate has drug addictions, Rusty is so blinded by love that he can’t see how troubled she is.
When Erica attends a launch event for Sam’s book, she is devastated by her daughter’s rejection. As the Borgens family reopens old wounds and inflicts some new ones, Kate spins out of control. When Sam gives Kate champagne—even though she’s underage and unaware of Kate’s addictions—Kate goes back for more and goes home with Gus, a guy who was at the party. The Borgens track her down; Bill and Erica find her in Gus’s apartment, asleep in his bedroom after a night of drinking and doing drugs. Kate is loaded into the car. Rusty lifts the blanket covering her body, and realizes she also had slept with Gus. He cries over her. Distraught, Rusty turns to alcohol and comes home drunk almost every night. Rusty encounters Kate’s ex- boyfriend one day in a convenience store. Rusty is badly injured in a fight with Kate’s ex. In the background narration, Kate writes Rusty a letter telling him how sorry she is and that she’s in rehab. She says she wishes that one day, she could be worthy of somebody like him. Bill, worried about Rusty, grounds him. Rusty writes a story and finds that it’s helped him heal the wounds. Later, he gets a call from Stephen King, who is an author he highly admires. Rusty’s new story was put into a magazine.
Bill reveals to Sam that when she was a baby, he left Erica and she waited six months for him. When he came back, she accepted him. He promised that if she ever left him, he’d give her a second chance. Lou’s mother dies, and Sam realizes how much her mother means to her. She makes up with Erica. Erica comes back that Thanksgiving, where Lou has joined them for dinner.
Greg Kinnear as Bill Borgens, a famous novelist
Jennifer Connelly as Erica, the ex-wife of Bill who left him for a younger man
Lily Collins as Samantha, Bill and Erica’s college-age daughter
Logan Lerman as Lou, a classmate of Samantha’s and potential love interest.
Nat Wolff as Rusty, Bill and Erica’s 16-year-old son and a hopeless romantic
Liana Liberato as Kate, Rusty’s love interest with a troubled life
Stephen King as himself
Kristen Bell as Tricia