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Monday, August 1, 2011
Crazy, Stupid, Love - 2011
It is fair to say that Crazy, Stupid, Love, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, has been my most anticipated comedy of the summer, and possibly of the entire year. In today's time comedies rarely satisfy me, in fact I straight up hate most of them, but even so Steve Carell has always been a brilliant and hilarious actor, and he is the reason I first thought about seeing the film. The second reason being that I found the story very interesting, it was nice to see a comedy with a little bit of heart rather than nothing but vulgar humor throughout the film, which was very refreshing for me personally. And even though Crazy, Stupid, Love isn't the best comedy ever made, it is much better than most you will see, and I had a great time watching it.
Cal (Steve Carell) is living a very happy life with his children and wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), until one night on a date Emily reveals to Cal that she has had an affair and wants a divorce. This shocks Cal, and he immediately over reacts and jumps out of the moving vehicle they were riding in. Once home Cal announces to his children and their babysitter that Emily wants a divorce, just after Cal's son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo) told his babysitter that he was in love with her. Crazy, Stupid, Love takes us on a journey through three stages of life, kid, young adult, and adult. Robbie continues to struggle with whether or not he should pursue his babysitter that is four years older than him, who he loves, or just let her go and look for someone else. And while consistently going around the same bar at night, Cal tells people what has happened to him, until a young ladies man, Jacob (Ryan Gosling) befriends Cal and attempts to help him get back on his feet. But after long conversations with his son and new friend Jacob, Cal begins to realize that maybe he is looking for the wrong thing in life, and tries to turn it all around.
As I mentoned before of my early interest in the story for this film, it certainly had its own shining moments, but at other times I felt the story was incredibly stupid. I know that is part of the title, but if you see the film you will understand what I mean. The whole relationship between Robbie and his babysitter is boring, and just a waste of screen time. The two characters are very annoying, and no, Robbie probably should not pursue the girl he thinks is his soul mate, because he will be done with her before the year is over. The only thing that was decent about the story surrounding Robbie, is what Steve Carell's character gained from him. Also, I was about to gag with anything concerning the babysitter's love for Cal, it was completely irrelevent to the rest of the story, and had no need at all to be in the film. And to me that is kind of a big deal, I think with all of the problems Cal has in the film, the writers could have made a better connection from that to the issues the kids go through.
However, with that being said, everything else about the story I found to be fantastic. The message was strong, instead of wasting your life going to parties and spending money on everything you see, save yourself for one special person and be willing to do whatever is necessary to keep them. Nowadays in pretty much anything (music, movies, books, etc.) you won't get a message like this, and to me that was one of the most enjoyable parts of Crazy, Stupid, Love. Films like last year's comedy "The Other Guys" and "Date Night" are here to entertain us, sure, but a movie like this works straight to the heart, which deserves to be recognized.
The character development for the most part was perfect. The audience may not have gained a ton of insight into each individual's lives, but for the type of movie that was being made screenwriter, Dan Fogelman did a fine job. It surprised me though that he would write for a film like this, considering he previous works include Fred Claus, Bolt, and Cars. I suppose you could call it a pleasant surprise though because in my opinion this is his finest work yet. His other three works were bland, drowned by Hollywood cheese, and all in all extremely immature, even for family movies. But with Crazy, Stupid, Love he keeps everything very solid and well done.
The only problem with the screenplay was the script. It was decent, and for a lot of the film worked okay, but it undeniably had its moments of cheesiness, and as you all know that is something I cannot stand. On the other hand it also has times of maturity, and of course the film was funny. Even though I look at this movie as more of a drama than a comedy, its genre is still comedy, so it has to be funny in order to be good, right? Well it was, so no worries there. I can promise you there isn't a part in the film that will make you fall out of your seat, but you will laugh, there is no doubt about that.
Everyone that looks at Crazy, Stupid, Love can see that it has an incredibly talented cast, but the question that seems to have been asked a lot is can they carry the movie. Well, with strong material and good work from the crew members, yes they can. Steve Carell is amazing as always, whether in a comedy, which he almost always is, or just a drama (Dan in Real Life) he is excellent without fail. This film is obviously no exception to that, so if you are looking for good ol' Steve Carell, you will get it here. Who would have thought that arguably the most extraordinary, young dramatic actor of our time would also be hilarious? Not me, but Ryan Gosling does a perfect job with his role, and after I watched this movie I have even more respect for him than I already did before it. Emma Stone, who I quite honestly do not like at all, was surprisingly good. Nothing special really, but she got the job done. The rest of the cast was pretty average, Marisa Tomei was funny in her short role, as well as Kevin Bacon, and everyone along with them as well.
Overall, Crazy, Stupid, Love isn't the funniest, or best comedy out there, but compared to the vulgar nonsense we are all used to, it is a breath of fresh air. A few strong performances overcome the film's clear flaws, and get a recommendation from me. If you are looking for a simply entertaining movie with a bit of heart, go see this.