Crazy, Stupid, Love
Laughing so loud in a theater that you miss the next line in the film may sound obnoxious. But when the audience is doing it in unison, something is being done right. That is exactly what happened when I saw CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. My plea is for this film to be immediately put onto everyone’s must list and then spread the word. Touching, sweet, dramatic, funny, CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE is an excellent blend of comedy and drama and all positive adjectives.
During a dinner date night out from the kids, Emily (Julianne Moore) chooses an item not on the menu – divorce. After years of marriage, Cal (Steve Carell) becomes nearly comatose from the horrific news. Leaping from a slow moving car is only the beginning of a downward spiral full of self-pity and binge drinking. Giving some tough love, Jacob (Ryan Gosling) a well-groomed and well-dressed single womanizer decides to help pathetic Cal out. The goal is to clean Cal up and train him in a self-proclaimed THE KARATE KID style. After Cal has been “Miyagied,” he is ready to pick up women and make his wife jealous. Meanwhile, Cal’s 12-year old son Robbie is pining over the babysitter who in turn is pining over Cal. Robbie’s shocking persistence is what teaches our lead characters to fight for what they love.
Covering love, family and marital issues, the dramatic life situations are obviously abundant but the laughs are constant. Every character has depth and creates an invested interest from the audience. There are far more hijinks and cross relations than I can name but it all comes together to create warm gooey entertainment while maintaining an edge of darkness. However, at its oversized heart lies a wonderfully funny comedy.
The all-star cast each play their part perfectly. Steve Carell is so darn likable no matter what situation he is in. He was born to play the every day man, finding understated nuances that are a joy to watch. I officially have a man crush on Ryan Gosling as he is the epitome of everything I want to be physically. But I believe anyone could look that good if they had his wardrobe. Never before have I enjoyed shopping, yet I immediately felt compelled to drape myself in the latest fashion regardless of price. Julianne Moore came off likable and pleasant despite her character having an affair, which is a nearly impossibly feat that I don’t believe she pulled off in THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. The emotion she carries behind her eyes is invaluable to a film of this nature. Then there is my official new crush – Emma Stone. Every role she’s in, she manages to jump off screen. Like I said in my FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS review, I wanted more Stone! The way she chugs down an alcoholic beverage that she obviously hates deserves an Academy Award, which I hope she finds a role to garner such a nomination. The rest of the amazing supporting cast including Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Analeigh Tipton, Josh Groban, John Carroll Lynch, Jonah Bobo do an excellent job making the most from their few shining moments.
The film tends to get a little more ridiculous the closer it arrives to the finale, ending with all the characters showing up similar to a farce like play along with a cliché speech that closes everything in a nice bow. But you know what? CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE earns every cheesy moment. It’s a rare accomplishment that a film can have you so engulfed in it’s characters that it can literally get away with the most absurd public social moments but CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE had this critic smiling ear to ear while he cried, laughed and cheered looking crazy, stupid and in love with this film every step of the way.