Composer Christopher Young's score for the romantic film Love Happens was not immortalized on a soundtrack album at the time of the theatrical release, but finally appeared three weeks after the movie became a DVD. The lag may be some indication of its mediocrity. Young has a gift for coming up with music better than the movies he scores, but that gift has generally been applied to horror films (e.g., Drag Me to Hell), not to love stories, and he is a very busy composer. For Love Happens, he has come up with a cute little theme first heard in the opening track that sounds like it's about to turn into Tony Hatch's "Downtown," the Petula Clark hit from 1965, but never quite does so. Elsewhere, as the acoustic guitars are strummed and the pianos caressed, he sometimes seems to be going for the kind of minor-key contemplative music favored by Thomas Newman, but without the quirkiness Newman likes to throw in. None of the music is particularly compelling, at least for the first 16 tracks. Then, there are seven more "bonus tracks", pushing the album to a length of 67 minutes. It's not clear what is meant by "bonus tracks," but this is not music consistent with what has gone before and, presumably, not actually heard in the film. It sounds like these might have been alternate ideas Young worked on for the score, and if so, maybe they should have been used instead. "A Dissonant Discourse" is an interesting percussive track, while "Why the Hell Am I in Heaven?" is mildly funky, and "Fast Toward the Eye (Of Lorelei)" is a much more developed and satisfying theme than the one that dominates the main score. It's too bad the composer only gets to show his talent in the addendum, but the album certainly is better for the additions.
Love Happens Review
by William Ruhlmann