Directed by Glenn Ficarra
Steve Carell as Cal Weaver
Ryan Gosling as Jacob Palmer
Julianne Moore as Emily Weaver
Emma Stone as Hannah Weaver
Marisa Tomei as Kate
I don’t like rom-coms that much. Most of the post-2000’s stuff is lame and cheesy. Most romantic comedies, I find, are predictable, stale, and essentially one carbon copy after another, of the same exact story, played out in a slightly altered manner. You probably won’t guess where Crazy Stupid Love is going. While the ending itself is a lot like I predicted it, there’s a big plot twist that presents itself in the climax that I really didn’t see coming. And that’s reason enough to see this movie.
Fair warning: If your sense of humor revolves solely around Hangover II-esque crap, you might not like this movie. The humor of each situation is driven by great acting and an even greater script. There are no fart jokes to be found anywhere here. No jokes related to bodily functions, and no Bangkok hookers. Disappointed already? Please GTFO.
To the point, then. The film opens with Cal (Carell) and his wife Emily (Moore) sitting down to dinner in a restaurant when Emily tells Cal she wants a divorce after 25 years of marriage, much to Cal’s surprise. On the drive home she also tells him that she’s had an affair to which Cal responds by jumping from the moving vehicle. He moves out of his house and starts to take up permanent residence at a high-end bar, where he narrates his sorrows to anyone around. Eventually he’s approached by a womanizer named Jacob Palmer (Gosling) who’s sick of Cal’s incessant whining and decides to help him turn his life around.
Steve Carell and Julianne Moore in “Crazy Stupid Love”
The film does throw up the slightly cliched scenario of the lothario suddenly finding the girl of his dreams, when Jacob falls in love at first sight with Hannah (Stone). But it’s funny and well done, so I really can’t complain. There is a sub-plot about Cal’s 13 year old son falling for his 17 year old babysitter which is just…really…weird, and I never really got what the point was. But that’s just a minor blip. Every scene has some impressive work behind it. A lot of these movies about makeovers delve into new clothes and shoes and haircuts to the point where I want to bash my brains out, but this movie does the makeover very quickly, and the entire process is hilarious. There’s no time wasted on the accessories, this story is completely about the characters.
There are no heroes or villains in the movie. The divorce doesn’t have a winner or loser, as the film meditates on the effects on each person. The supporting cast is great, the script is consistently funny, and there’s never a moment of boredom. Steve Carell steps out from his standard comedy routine, and actually does very well at the drama. I don’t know what else to tell you.
Ryan Gosling gives a great performance, even though he’s semi-ripping off Robert DeNiro’s trademark persona. There is a great amount of time dedicated to each character, and the focus isn’t solely on Steve Carell and Julianne Moore. There are several more relationships that the movie deals with, but it never loses the main thread. There’s more comedy than actual romance here, but whatever. I actually enjoyed this movie quite a bit. Check it out.
RATING (OUT OF FIVE)