Surviving Love (2004) starring Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Erin Karpluk, Adam Frost, Bonnie Bartlett, Polly Holliday, Danny Dorosh directed by Steven Schachter Movie Review

Surviving Love (2004)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Ted Danson in Surviving Love (2004)

A Civil Divorce

"Surviving Love" is the sort of bubbly, quirky romantic comedy which puts a smile on your face as soon as it starts and never lets it go. And it achieves it on so many levels from the acting through to the stories; to the quirky set ups to the acting. Yes I did say acting twice because "Surviving Love" which is also known as "It Must Be Love" stars real life husband and wife Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen and the chemistry between them is stunning, sparky and simply hilarious.

Two years earlier George Gazelle (Ted Danson - Homegrown) asked his wife Clem (Mary Steenburgen - Elf) for a divorce but between work commitments, their son Joe (Adam Frost) going to Princeton and daughter Tess (Erin Karpluk - Christmas Lodge) getting married they put it off. But with everything seemingly sorted George and Clem decide to sort out their divorce in an amicable situation by going on a road trip in George's Airstream to divide up their property. But despite being friends they row and end up getting caught up in a snowstorm. Meanwhile after her honeymoon night Tess has a panic about marriage and flies back home to discover her brother Joe is there having secretly quit school.

Mary Steenburgen in Surviving Love (2004)

So the main storyline surrounds George and his wife Clem going on a road trip to sort out a civilized divorce. What happens on that road trip well without going in to too many details they are friendly, they sleep together, reminisce argue and end up caught in a snow storm all of which is full of comedy. You have the comedy of such a daft idea of going on a divorce trip to the comedy of George ending up frozen in the snow after they row and Clem reading in a survival book that they should sleep together to warm him up. This works partly because of the comedy of the various set ups but also because of the chemistry between Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen which not only makes it all very sparky but also very natural.

But then alongside this main storyline we have their children from their son Joe sneaking back home when they head off on their divorce trip to their daughter Tess having marriage doubts after the first night and runs back home. Again the writing in this is great with plenty of funny set ups but with Erin Karpluk and Adam Frost doing a wonderful job of bringing their supporting roles to life. It means that when all the storylines combine there is a no let up to the humour in a way reminiscent to the comedy of the "Father of the Bride" movies which this could easily have been used as an idea for another sequel.

What this all boils down to is that "Surviving Love" is a bit obvious but it is a whole lot of fun thanks to great writing and good performances especially from the husband and wife team of Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.