When art teacher, Lucy (Alison Brie), finally commits to an affair with the school’s gym teacher, Clint (Colin Hanks), he immediately falls through a hole that opens up in her living room floor. Not a sinkhole, but a perfectly round hole that leaves Clint floating in a dark state of limbo, but still able to communicate.
When we’re introduced to Lucy, she’s the pixie girl trope brought into sharp relief, lusted upon by every male in her town, from her students to the police. She deals with their persistent lasciviousness with a stoicism that generates passive aggression from her so-called friends. This sudden appearance of a hole in her house appears the be the straw that breaks her, long before questions are raised about Clint’s “disappearance.” Her anxiety leads her to Rydell (Justin Chatwin), an out of towner looking for Clint to pay up on a debt. It’s apparent that the two are made for each other and so now, we have the triangle necessary for a romance, albeit with one of its participants floating in an ethereal hole.
As romantic comedies go, Stranger Than Love runs alongside films such as Stranger Than Fiction and The Cobbler in terms of magic realism. When news of the hole in Lucy’s home becomes public, the townsfolk use it as an excuse to hold a BBQ in her front garden and discuss its symbolism. And this is where screenwriter, Steve Adams (Envy), just seems to be using the quirky plot to air his thoughts on fidelity, poetry, and societal pressures, without really providing any cohesion, and occasionally forgetting about Lucy, his protagonist, altogether. By no means a surreal masterpiece, Stranger Than Love gets by on the performances of its leads, who paper over its exceedingly light plot.