Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

Posted: April 15, 2012 in Comedy
Tags: ,

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Cal Weaver (Steve Carrell) is having a nice dinner with his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore).  He wants dessert, she wants a divorce.  That’s only the beginning of a very complicated night for Cal.  His son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is in love with the 17 year old babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton).  Meanwhile Jessica has a crush on Cal.  To cheer Cal up, his friend Jacob (Ryan Gossling) go bar hopping.  Eventually, Cal meets Kate (Marissa Tomei) a teacher, and they spend the night together.  That turns Cal into a stud, who then beds nine more women.  On one of his solo trips to the bar, Jacob meets Hannah (Emma Stone)  a law student, who initially wants nothing to do with the smooth-talking womanizing Jacob.  But after her boyfriend, Richard(Josh Groban) fails to propose to her, Hannah spends the night with Jacob.  When Cal visits Robbie’s teacher for a parent teacher conference he’s in for a surprise.  What surprise does Jessica have for Cal?  What is Hannah’s surprise for Jacob?

I liked this movie, it made me laugh out loud, but there were two central tenets of the movie that I could not buy.  One was Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling are friends.  In what world does a smooth-talking stud with a chiseled sixpack befriend a perpetual sad-sack like Carell’s character?  It would never happen.  The movie doesn’t even explain how they became friends.  The second unbelievable premise that the movie wants me to believe is that a smart, sensible girl like Emma Stone’s character would lose all that smartness in a minute, to jump into bed with a bad boy.  The babysitter/teen boy/dad love triangle started off creepy and got creepier at the end, I was just never comfortable with that whole storyline, the babysitter was a one joke character at best.  Some of the characters felt contrived, as if used to get a cheap laugh, or move the story along.

Marisa Tomei’s character was a caricature, there’s no depth behind that character.  Her character was insulting to me.  Some of the characters were underutilized, like Kevin Bacon and Julianne Moore.  They must have been the straight men in this movie, there’s no other reason why their characters are so dull. Carell is playing the same character he’s always played, the loveable schmuck who gets dumped on by life and has to find a way to cope with it.  He plays this character so often that he gets lots of laughs out of it.  However, it is the two performances by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone that hold this movie together.  Gosling shows a surprisingly deft touch with comedy, and after Blue Valentine, he is definitely an actor to look out for in the future.  Stone has already made a name for herself as the smart, tough, no-nonsense girl in Zombieland and easy A, puts in another strong performance here.  Her acting is effortless.

Crazy Stupid Love.  Love at first sight? No.  Like at first glance.

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