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Reasons to get ‘Stuck in Love’

Was it the intellectual shout-outs to Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor? Were they afraid we’d glaze over? It’s hard to figure why the modest but engaging ensemble drama “Stuck in Love” (2013) bypassed theaters. Greg Kinnear plays Bill Borgens, an acclaimed novelist comically stagnating since his wife (Jennifer Connelly) left him. He remains hopeful that she’ll reconsider — and in the meantime, he’ll keep on peeping through her window, anxious for some glimpse of trouble in paradise with the new boyfriend. Their daughter, Samantha (Lily Collins, “Mirror Mirror”), is a breezily cynical coed shutting out her mother over the split and channeling her jaded promiscuity into her own literary breakout. The couple’s son, Rusty (Nat Wolff, “Admission”), is a high school geek urged by his dad to get some experience, get reckless, get his heart broken. (Kinnear doesn’t get all the material he might to help sell the man-of-letters angle, but these liberalist flashes help.) Logan Lerman (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) is the likable guy determined to thaw Samantha’s heart. And Kristen Bell (also in “The Lifeguard” this week”) amusingly drops by from what seems like another movie as a casually lusty neighbor trying to help Bill move on. This group looks like a family, their conflicts play like intelligently, ever-so-slightly heightened realism, and there’s even some Stephen King talk for anyone smelling pretentiousness from writer-director Josh Boone. Never mind the low-profile — if this were a book, you’d call it a good read. (Millennium, $28.99; Blu-ray, $29.99)

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