Crazy, Stupid, Love (Blu-ray)
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE is really the tale of two halves. One is a sweet, touching story about a broken man trying to find himself and put his life back together after his wife admits to having an affair. The other is a confusing, sitcom-like revealing of what was supposed to be three intertwined stories. The result is a good romantic comedy that’s better than most films in its genre, but still leaves the audience wishing they had just a little bit more (or less in some cases).
Steve Carell is Cal, a man that has gotten lazy in his life and in his marriage. His wife Emily (Julianne Moore) reveals to him over dinner one night that she wants a divorce and that she had an affair with one of her co-workers. This sends Cal straight to a bar, where he humorously and embarrassingly complains to anyone that will listen that his wife cheated on him. While out one night, the local ladies man, Jacob (Ryan Gosling) takes pity on poor Cal and offers to show him the ropes. We then get a transformation montage where Cal buys some clothes, then a few minutes later we get another montage while Cal tries out his new found skills on the ladies. This is the part of the film where the movie really excels. Gosling and Carell are great together and we can really see the transformation (although it’s not necessarily for the better) that Cal goes through. To this point, each of the three main characters (Cal, Jacob and Emily) are used wonderfully and effectively.
But things get complicated when Hanna (Emma Stone) is introduced as the love interest to Jacob. A wild playboy falling in love and giving up his old ways is a tried and true cliche, but it’s where their relationship takes us that makes things difficult. Not enough time was given to Jacob as a character and his transformation from playboy to dutiful boyfriend was rushed and poorly developed. It doesn’t help that once Jacob and Hanna start dating, the relationship between Jacob and Cal is effectively over, which of course was the best part of the film.
If those two storylines/love stories weren’t enough, there’s a third storyline that comes in which revolves around Cal’s son and his babysitter. This particular storyline was just a distraction to what was going on between the adults. We had some cute moments, but the son having a crush on the babysitter and the babysitter having a crush on Cal was too awkward for its own good. Throw in an angry father and we took a direction the film didn’t need to go. And as much as I want to explain why the last 30 minutes of the film were its undoing, it is set up to be a surprise and I’m not going to ruin that here.
The film is ripe with humorous scenes, a lot of which come from the always great Marisa Tomei as one of Cal’s victims. And the comedic moments, along with the bromance between Cal and Jacob make the film worthwhile and more than enjoyable. But the all too convenient ending and the under utilized characters prove to be a distraction and ultimately prevent this film from reaching greatness.
Video: I’ve always been a fan of Warner Brothers’ Blu-ray releases, at least on their new releases, and this is no exception. The dark colors that were predominantly used in the film came through beautifully.
Audio: No complaints on the audio front. This is a dialogue heavy film, but it comes through when needed.
Deleted Scenes (11:58): All of these were actually pretty decent. We also got the urinal scene that was shown in the trailer, but didn’t make the final cut. I think all of these could have been in the final film and would have only helped it.
The Player Meets His Match (6:01): Short promotional piece for the film.
Steve and Ryan walk into a bar (6:57): Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling sit and talk about their characters and their time working together.