In Stuck in Love., the debut from writer/director Josh Boone, he seems to be stuck with one premise. This is because in having a romantic drama with three distinct plotlines, really he only has one: that of the nice guy winning the nightmare girl. No sexist undertones at all then.

Riff number one? Greg Kinnear, successful author, is waiting for his ex-wife Jennifer Connelly to stop shagging a younger, fitter gym manager and return to the family. Riff number two? His son (Nat Wolff), wannabe author, is in love with a girl at school. He writes her a poem, decks her bloke and they get together despite her penchant for class A drugs. Kinnear's daughter (Lily Collins), published author/promiscuous slut, has ... riff number three in Logan Lerman (wannabe author) persuing her despite her being a general cow to him.

I want you because ... the script says so

So essentially this is male geek wish-fulfillment with a gaggle of gorgeous girls from a variety of age groups all simultaneously settling for the sensitive, bookish types. What prevents this from being eye-rollingly unconvincing is the efforts of the cast; Kinnear is his usual appealing self, Lerman has enough charm to almost undermine his strand (as he's so nice you wonder why he bothers with someone who delights in rejecting him), and Wolff does well in his role. The women merely have to look attractive, which has never been a challenge for Connelly and is not much of one for Collins or Liana Liberato (as Wolff's coke-sniffing "angel") either.

What is strange about this film is that it's really not a comedy at all. Aside from a few mildly amusing moments it plays everything so straight at every turn that they're not going for that angle. The pity is that had they gone the more comedic route then the repetitive nature of (and similarities between) the strands could hit home far more and mine humour out of that. Instead it's a solidly put together, if unspectacular little watch with more than a few hints of misogyny, and the underlying feeling that none of this would actually happen on planet earth with real people and their relationships. With a lesser cast this would be a pretty shoddy effort, but given the performers on show they just about drag it up to average. Only just, but enough.