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Crazy, Stupid, Love

August 3, 2011

Cal: When you find the one, you never give up.

‘Crazy, Stupid, Love‘ is an exceedingly quality film, which has a good premise, a good cast, and a shaky yet acceptable conclusion. That is exactly what my thoughts were walking out of this wonderful treat. After many weeks of summer blockbusters, it felt nice to see a cold-stone divorce romantic comedy that has the right amount of heart, raunch, and impoliteness to make it a great flick. There are some definitely great performances in this film from The Office’s Steve Carell, last years Golden Globe nominated actress Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon is in here for some odd reason. Some could say that these are Oscar-worthy performances, especially Carell’s. My only gripe with this film is that as much as it attempts to avoid average Hollywood cliches, it still ends with one. Regardless, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a very solid film that is definitely worth multiple viewings.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is the story of how Cal (Steve Carell) and his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) deal with divorce after Emily cheated on Cal with the frequently mentioned and mispronounced David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). Cal is distraught by this, and spends his nights at a night club, watching the handsome Jacob (Ryan Gosling) pick up women night after night. Jacob decides to help Cal get back in the dating game, and starts giving him advice and attempts to get Cal on his feet. After Cal gets back in the game, meeting many women, most notably Kate (Marisa Tomei), who is very crazy.

Meanwhile, Jacob meets a woman (Emma Stone), who is presented as something new and different for him, a game changer. Without giving anything away, Jacob and Hanna spend a bunch of time together, having fun, shopping for groceries, and being a regular couple. We have yet another side-plot in this now very enlarged film, focused on the crush that Emily and Cal’s son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) has on the families babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who ironically has her own crush on Cal. It’s a little crazy, stupid, but it is love.

When making a film like this, I believe that the directors have the biggest role in making the actors great, and that is one of the reasons I was happy with brilliant navigation from Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who are responsible for last years Jim Carrey dramedy ‘I Love You, Phillip Morris’ which I have yet to see, but seeing this film makes me comfortable that I should enjoy that vastly underrated film. Getting back to this, Ficarra and Requa did a class act job working with these actors and giving [most] of them many, lovely, individual moments throughout that are handled using strong emotional moments and situational comedy with ease. Easily conveying their message through a wonderful screenplay and onto the silver screen, the directors and writers have made an unforgettable romantic comedy.

I have to hand it to them, Hollywood got the most likable cast in town, and quite honestly the most random set of stars put in the same film. Carell leads men in the film in an impeccable role, showing his disgruntled side, but also his “cool guy” side, all being very believable and relatable. Gosling plays a very fun character throughout, and I found it exceptionally amusing during the scenes in which we see his characters cunning attempts to transform Carell’s character into a slick, smooth talking ladies man. Playing Carell’s son, in a surprisingly adequate role, is Zathura’s Jonah Bobo, whose character is a bit psychotic, but at the same time, very funny as he makes his babysitter uncomfortable with his crush on her. Finally, we have Kevin Bacon, playing Emily’s “work-friend” who was responsible for the separation. I’d like to point out that Bacon has a knack for playing baddies (X-Men, Super, I can go on forever), and is damn good at it.

Now, onto the well-cast female ensemble that showed such great performances that are very suitable for a film like this. I guess I’ll start with The Kid’s Are All Right star Julianne Moore, who spent most of her screen time either yelling at Carell, or crying alone. Moore always brings something great to her characters, but for this one, I was unimpressed due to her generic and oversold performance that was simply not believable. Sure, there are little moments that Moore shines, but certainly not enough to make it believable, even with her large amount of screen time. I expected better from a critically acclaimed actress, but all I got was mediocrity and a cheesy Twilight quote. All of this is made up from the strong performances from the other women.

My favorite of the women in this film definitely had to be Marisa Tomei, who seems to become more beautiful every year. Though Tomei doesn’t have much screen time to offer, she is nevertheless very humorous and delivers one of the films big twists, all in a very funny, yet cliched fashion. Emma Stone was great, no surprise here. Stone has always had the ability to charm me in all of her films, ever since Superbad, then Easy A, and the charm strikes back in possibly her most mature performance yet. Stone handles the material very lightly, and, like most of her performances, brings her own style to the film that only she can bring, which I think is one of the best qualities about being a great actor. Analeigh Tipton, a new and upcoming actress did a fine job as Jessica, who I wasn’t crazy about, but her crush on Carell’s character produced some pretty funny laughs in the third act of the film. Although I was annoyed by it, I still think this film features some of the strongest female actors and was mostly pleased. 

This cannot be seen without noticing a few flaws, primarily a certain actress who will be “Moore” or less confidential, but you cannot deny that Crazy, Stupid Love is certainly a charm. Led by the talented Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, and packed with astonishing performances from it’s supporting cast, brilliant direction by the duo of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, and a wonderful screenplay. What makes this film best is the many, lovely, individual moments throughout that are handled using strong emotional moments and situational comedy with ease. So get out of your chair, get to your local theater, and fall in ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’. 

Crazy, Stupid, Love = 4 out of 5

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Dante permalink
    August 3, 2011 6:12 pm

    Very well written review, Creed. I didn’t want to see this but now that you put it into context, I’ll go this friday.

  2. August 3, 2011 6:18 pm

    Thanks, hope you like it!

    PS. Creed is an alias, my real name is Matthew.

  3. Dante permalink
    August 3, 2011 6:33 pm

    Ok Mathew! And I found out it out next friday, not this friday.

  4. August 3, 2011 7:07 pm

    its already in theaters…

  5. August 4, 2011 10:25 am

    I loved it. It was so nice to just watch a film where everyone is more or less a good person. I’m with you that the ending was a bit of a cliche, but everything leading up to that was so good that I’m more than willing to overlook the problems.

  6. August 5, 2011 8:54 am

    I concur.

  7. rachwuntch permalink
    September 13, 2011 11:28 pm

    Great lay out of the blog! Loved how you picked the nacked picture of Ryan Gosling…that scene cracked me up. Like your idea of upcoming movie rewiews. Well Done!

  8. December 5, 2011 3:09 pm

    Youre totally right with this piece!!


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