STEVE CARELL JULIANNE MOORE RYAN GOSLING EMMA STONE MARISA TOMEI KEVIN BACON
CRAZY STUPID LOVE
This could have been just a stupid movie about crazy love; however, the smart writing here elevates it to something emotionally comical and quite pleasant to watch. Crazy Stupid Love isn’t without it's brush with raunchy material, but the PG-13 dramady never goes too far. If the film has a lagging point, it’s Carell, fresh off his exit from The Office and once again playing that middle aged, middle class, half nerd/half wanna-be cool dad. 2011 is the year of The Gosling, and this is only one of three movies where he will prove he is one of the most talented and best script choosers out there. Same goes for Emma Stone, who is Hollywood’s it girl right now, also with two more films this year.
After 25 years of marriage and three children, Emily (Moore) harshly breaks it to her husband Cal (Carell) that she wants a divorce after cheating on him with her associate (Bacon). Cal moves out and meets ladies man Jacob (Gosling) at a local bar, where he helps him retrieve his lost manhood with a new wardrobe and advice with the ladies. Jacob, meanwhile, unhappy with the handfuls of women he takes home every week, is caught off guard with redheaded Hannah (Stone), who behaves unlike any of the typical bar girls who just want him for his mysterious vibe and ripped body.
There are a lot of good scenes leading up to the moment where Hannah completely lets her guard down and basically attacks Jacob, but it’s that segment where Stone is really allowed to shine. Not only is Stone very attractive, although usually playing the nerd girl, she has this lovable quirkiness about her; and with those faces she makes, it’s nearly impossible not to fall in love with her. Gosling has his own charm, playing the “stud", which seems to go against everything he played previously. Moore is also very good in this role, although it is a bit normal for the unique roles she is known for. With very limited screen time, Oscar winner Tomei manages to steal each and every scene she is in, but one of the funniest scenes in the whole film is her confrontation with Mr. & Mrs. Weaver.
The movie's big surprise at the end, which I won’t spoil, is in typical ensemble fashion and does go overboard at times. A huge portion of the film is also devoted to Cal’s thirteen year old son and his babysitters, which ironically provide much of the film's more mature content. One of my favorite lines in the film is when Jacob tells Cal to repeat “Be better than The Gap”; if only more people would heed that advice. This isn’t a perfect film, but it blends enough serious material with comedy that it’s a fun adventure that really does deal with every aspect and every age of crazy stupid love.
Final Thought – Gosling & Stone are a must see.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody
Dr. Donna Copeland’s
The strength of Crazy, Stupid, Love lies in the superior acting abilities of its stars, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and Ryan Gosling. All of them tend to be a step above the norm in whatever roles they play, and they ace it once again in this comedy/drama about male bonding, love, marriage, and divorce.
The script by Dan Fogelman is largely written as comedy, but there are a number of emotional turns that brought some sniffles from the audience. Additionally, several substantive comments are made about loyalty, truthfulness, and family, which elevate it above a simple comedy. I could have done without so much absurdity toward the end in the backyard scene, but the audience seemed to have enjoyed it.
At the beginning of the film, a picture of Cal and Emily is knocked off on the floor, breaking the glass—an apt metaphor signaling the theme of the movie. After Cal is stunned by Emily’s pronouncement that she wants a divorce after almost 25 years, he is devastated and begins to realize how out of touch he has been from his wife and the rest of society. Consequently, he makes gaffes common to many people in that situation: drinking and talking too much and being mostly oblivious to others’ desires and needs.
The twist in the story comes from smooth-talking, suave Jacob, played by Ryan Gosling, who proceeds to become Cal’s mentor, coaching him in the ways of a single man in the world. He literally begins to slap him into shape, from his wardrobe to his physique to his social skills. One wonders, as Cal does, why such a character would be sympathetic and solicitous of Cal, and the question is answered later on in the plot.
This man-about-town is a new role for Gosling. I’m thinking of his previous films, The Believer, Half Nelson, and most recently, Blue Valentine. Here, he is distinctly authoritative even when seducing women, and presents as the polar opposite of Cal. How these two men interact with one another and evolve across time is not only entertaining, but constitutes a major part of the story.
The newly found love interests/lusts of the three main characters are cleverly played by Kevin Bacon, Marissa Tomei, and Emma Stone. The younger actors—Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, and Joey King—are impressive in their ability to blend in with the skills of the more experienced group.
As an engaging comedy with some substance to it, this is a good production, and should do very well at the box office.
Grade B Dr. Donna R. Copeland