Crazy, Stupid, Love. Reviews
"Crazy, Stupid, Love", directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, is a great romantic comedy. It doesn't rely on the R rated nudity, or the vulagrity to win viewers over. It's a smart romantic comedy; something that is rare now.
Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is married to high school sweetheart, has great kids, good job, and a nice house to live in. But when his wife Emily (Julianna Moore) decided to have a divorce, Cal's life turns for the worst. His wife cheated on him with a fellow worker (Kevin Bacon) and decides to move out. It is then he decides to start going to bars, ordering low alcohol beverages and starts to complain about his wife's lover. But one night, when a sweet talker named Jacob (Ryan Gosling) decides to talk to Cal, he begins to change his life around. Jacob changes Cal's clothing and how to talk to the ladies at the bars. It doesn't take too long for Cal to get use to the idea of smooth talking girls at bars and begins to live a life full of ladies and sex.
The plot is fairly simple with some minor twists leading up to a funny yet outstanding climax where everything comes together so smoothly. The film doesn't only follow Cal. It also follows his teenage son Robbie who is falling in love with his babysitter Jessica. The film also shows Jacob's lifestyle and how he begins to fall in love with Hannah (Emma Stone). The film never feels like it tells so much. The story is told from great writing and smooth direction and it never feels overwhelming.
But "Crazy, Stupid, Love" works perfectly mostly because of its talented cast. Steve Carell is great as the leading role, as he has played his role before (some would say 40-Year Old Virgin might be somewhat similar). Ryan Gosling as Jacob is brilliant. I was actually surprised that it was the same actor from "Drive" because I felt he was so bland as a character in that film. To see Mr. Gosling alive and able to play this funny character is fantastic. I look forward to more of his work. Emma Stone is beautiful as Hannah. She is a great actress and every time she's on screen, she brings her character to life.
"Crazy, Stupid, Love" has its moments of triumph. The film works perfectly with the clever script and smooth direction. The cast does a superb job and really brings this film to life. It's a great romantic comedy with just the right amount of drama. Whenever you have a chance or have some time to spare, give the film a shot. It may not be that "crazy" but it is definitely a great film to watch and laugh to.
Steve Carell's portrayal of a fish out of water; a 40 year old who has only had relations with his wife (Juliane Moore), is a wonderful bit of pathos and sincerity. When Moore gets bored of their too comfy relationship (or as she puts it - "I guess I'm having a midlife crises"), and asks for a divorce, I, as a long married man, felt a bond at this man who looks with trepidation upon the possibility of having to re-enter the dating pool; especially when he knows that, in his heart, it is his wife that he still wants.
But it is not just his story that makes the film shine. It is the ensemble cast, the sure handed direction of not one but two directors (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa), as well as the very well written script by Dan Fogelman that not only displays a dry wit and humor, but gives us depth that is often missing in a comedy.
Truly, the film is more than the sum of its parts. In retrospect I can sit here and poke some holes in some of the more improbable ideas presented here (like Ryan Gosling's character of the lothario who seemingly always gets his woman), but if you look past and see that his character is a means of driving the narrative, and that ultimately his character is also far deeper than one would think, then, on the whole one would have to admire the film.
In examining LOVE, you get into all the foibles and needs and wants that we as humans place upon the word - indeed, it seems to slither like a snake - a mirage that often seems just out of reach; and often when you find it (or it finds you) the result isn't what you were expecting - which is why the title of the film is so spot on.
While Carell's character goes through the usual comedic pratfalls and misunderstandings, it is Gosling's character that carries much of the weight. Here is a man who feeds his libido while actually craving that more personal connection that goes well beyond the physical. In a wonderfully filmed sequence a woman picks him up for sex and as the scene plays out, she starts to have doubts and they end up actually having a deep and meaningful conversation - one in which she asks him to tell her something personal - like "what's your mother like?" That question gave me pause as I'd have to think on how to answer that - and yes, it's a very personal question. Gosling's answer goes a long way into revealing that he's much more than a lounge shark.
The film also uses the character of Carell's 13 year old son to good use. He gives us a vision of idealized love, where he is convinced he has found his soul mate and will stop at nothing, not even personal embarrassment in order to proclaim that love. When that idealized love is matched against his parent's in and out of love gambit... well, as Carell tries to explain "it's complicated" - surely, but does love really have to be so? As it comes off here, the adult complications seem more to blur the lines and obfuscate than give a compelling reason why love has strings attached.
In many a film there is a seeming disconnect between what people do and why they do it. So often the quest for funny derails common sense and people do things for totally unreasonable or unsupported reasons. This film has characters that stay pretty true to who they are and often grow as the film progresses. I was originally a bit taken back by the portrayal of the babysitter - a senior in high school who will soon be going to Stanford. . . and yet she seems totally ignorant of how to have an adult relationship, or even what one should be like. She takes her admiration for Carell as a caring father and morphs it into some kind of puppy love. On first glance this seems preposterous, but then as you get a glimpse into her matriarchal family unit, where the mother rules the roost but seems afraid of anything and everything (which is why she makes rules - to guard against the things she fears) - one can see that her daughter may well be sheltered and smothered to the point where she has no clue (as I seriously doubt that mom and daughter have had "the talk").
Not many comedies give you this kind of depth, while also making you smile and laugh out loud. While not being perfect, this film was a fulfilling and very solid watch that far exceeded my expectations.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Question: What are some of the words you use to describe love? I can think of many but that would take up this entire blog post. I just came back from seeing a movie that may have put some definitions in perfect order and more succinctly than I could: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
I am still undecided if I liked this movie or not. I liked all the actors in it; I laughed (no, I did not cry); I got a little bored and even rolled my eyes a couple of times. So I am unsure but by the time I finish typing this review I will have figured it out.
First, let me tell you I love Steve Carell. He is just one of those actors that can make me laugh, sympathize with and want to just hang out and chat. He can do funny, sweet, uncomfortable, sad and vulnerable all with one look. Did you not see Little Miss Sunshine? Well, he did that there. He is a man whose wife, played by Julianne Moore, asks for a divorce and he ends up turning the situation into figuring out who he is and have a little fun while doing it.
That's where Ryan Gosling's character comes in to save Steve Carell's character from his dorkiness. Oh, I love Ryan Gosling too. Sure, he is good looking but I think he is one of the best young actors out there today. Usually he plays dramatic roles (Blue Valentine), overly romantic roles (The Notebook) or psychological dramas (Fracture & Stay - yes, with Ewan McGregor). However, in Crazy, Stupid, Love. he plays up on his comedic talents. He isn't as over the top with the laughs as Steve Carell but he had some good ones that cracked a smile on this face.
There were some funny scenes with the 2 male lead characters that I can't divulge but some of the previews already did. So, let's switch it over the the ladies of this movie. Julianne Moore, as I mentioned before, is Steve Carell's wife. I think her character was a bit weak but necessary to the story so I can't really fault the writers. Then there was Emma Stone's character. In the beginning you aren't sure why she is part of this yet. Just wait.
Now, by time it got to the middle of the movie almost every character's dilemmas were in place then I became more interested. This is where Emma Stone's character comes back in the story and her issue with the thing they call love. Hannah, (Emma Stone) after having a huge disappointment, did something that I think every girl has always wanted to do but never had the guts. I won't say what but it's good. I also enjoyed the next scene as well because it was so real, funny and it referenced movies. (Okay, maybe I did like this movie a little.)
There were a few children in Crazy, Stupid, Love. and sometimes we adults forget that they fall in love too. There was the son of Steve Carrel's character in love with an older "woman". It was a great addition to all the adult love dilemmas. Also, he may have had one of the best scenes of the movie with giving the best summary of a book we all read in high school. (Okay, maybe I liked this movie a little more.)
I have to admit that there was probably one of the best compliments a man could give to a women in this movie. I won't reveal what it is but if you see the movie you'll see what I mean. (Yep, I liked this movie.)
All-in-all this was a sweet movie. I don't say that a lot about films but this one deserves that definition. Also, isn't love sweet sometimes?
My favorite thing: What Emma Stone did in the bar in the middle of the movie.
My least favorite thing: The graduation speech.
Length: 118 minutes
Review: 6 out of 10
Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is a seemingly happy husband until one evening during dinner, Sally (Julianne Moore), his wife of 25 years, tells him she wants a divorce. Suddenly finding himself on his own and struggling, Cal meets lounge lizard Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a young man who decides to take him under his wing and teach him the ways of being single, and how to seduce any woman he wants.
This may be slightly new territory for the directing duo of Ficarra and Requa but as they have proven in the past with "Bad News Bears" they are able to tone down their lewd humour for a more accessible audience. As a result they lose some of the risquÃ (C) humour that makes their writing so appealing but another new thing is, they didn't write this film. However, the directors still know how to deliver the laughs, even if they are toned down. Put simply, this is a romantic comedy and I'm not a fan of the genre. However, this aims a little higher than usual for the formula and hits the mark on more than a few occasions. That's thank in large to it not being your standard boy-meets-girl scenario. Of course, it has elements of this but it's structured in such a teasingly elaborate way that it keeps it fresh and maintains your interest. It also has a good understanding of the pathos involved with relationships, giving the actors some dramatic material to counteract the comedy. It's finely tuned with good characterisation and handled well by endearing performances from an impressively assembled cast. With the exception of an underused Kevin Bacon, everyone else gets their fare share of screen time. Gosling shows some good comedic talents despite being better known in dramatic roles and Carell can do the tragic everyman in his sleep. The real comedy highlight though, is a scorned and neurotic Marisa Tomei. She delivers regular laughs whenever on-screen. Overall it's a collective piece of work though and a real surprise that I enjoyed it as much as I did. Be warned though, the first half-hour is standard rom-com territory but if persevered with, it picks up after that.
It lacks the provocative and outrageous humour "I Love You Philip Morris" benefited from but still has plenty of genuinely funny scenes. One of the better romantic-comedies.
Yes its original and entertaining but i wouldnt say its a proper romcom as it lacked quite a few laughs, i think i laughed in two different scenes! Its a sweet enough movie thats acted beautifully and has characters where you think at first that there irrelevant they some mould into this one intwinnning story which i did like, however after the first hour you kind of know where its going and i think that the predictability of this movie makes me enjoy it less, so a watchable movie but i wouldnt say it made me laugh out loud!
However, there was one glaring problem that wouldn't shake out of my head -- it was the method Cal & Emily (Steve Carrel & Julianne Moore) dealt with their divorce and what type of innate teaching that method conveyed towards their children. Now you're probably thinking, "K... that's just how the movie is." As one who is a child of divorced parents, the movie implicates that the children themselves are not affected by their parents' separation which is absolutely false. It is a very confusing for a child to witness heartbreak. It doesn't fit the overall tone and though the movie was not trying to address such issues, it was overlooked and could possibly desensitize viewers of their views on the consequences of children with divorced parents.
Other then that, it was a very entertaining movie throughout. Pacing was pitch perfect for a rom-com; we all know, that's super difficult to do.
When he is at his most down-trodden and desperate Cal is taken under the wing of Jacob (Ryan Gosling)- a younger, better looking, and smooth ladykiller who pities him and offers to help him reclaim his masculinity and become more like himself. From there, the film branches out into several different subplots, all of which concern love, and just how crazy and stupid it is, and how crazy and stupid it drives people to become sometimes.
Throughout the film everything seems to be moving along decently even though it seems like the subplots make everything uneven. However, once the third act rolls around, there's a big twist that, while fun, seems almost unreal and a little hard to swallow, and on top of that, the conclusion becomes a bit too drawn out, but, though all of this is a bit hard to take, the film manages to stay afloat and is ultimately a success because the film takes the time to deal with the issues it sets up, and has some really great and developed characters that you can care about, and in the end feels a lot more fresh than the initial set up might make it seem.
Yeah, the film isn't entirely the most realistic thing in the world by the end, but the pros outweigh the cons, and this film succeeds far better than most films of its kind. It's a romantic dramedy, and, while there's a good mixture of both comedy snd drama, I kinda felt like the film was a tad more dramatic than flat out funny. I laughed out loud a few times, but not much; this is mostly the sort of charming affair where you smile more and maybe chuckle than bust a gut with laughter.
The film is really smartly written, and even gets in a nice self-referential joke or two without overdoing it. The characters are all really charming and likeable, and a big reason for it is because of the terrific cast and their excellent performances. Everyone is well cast and all deliver some solid work. I've mentioned the believability issues quite a bit now, and I'm starting to ramble, but ultimately I'm willing to give this film a pass because it moved me and proved to me that I should considering giving the romance genre some more credit more often.