Saturday, July 30, 2011

Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

You better be listening to this Cowboys & Aliens, because this is how you live up to your film's title. Crazy Stupid Love is yet another romantic comedy to come out this year, but I have to say it's actually a very refreshing take on the genre that mixes together great situational comedy moments along with human drama that is very relatable. And you definitely can do no wrong with a cast like this, too.

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is left with the stunning news that his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) suddenly wants to divorce him after she cheats on him with her business partner David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). Cal soon receives help from charming, womanizing guru Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) so he can redeem his relationship personality. Meanwhile Jacob has doubts about his constant pick-ups when his advances fail on a girl named Hannah (Emma Stone). In addition, Cal and Emily's son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is making advances on his babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who is four years older than him. Everything soon becomes intertwined and it certainly lives up to the ultimate potential outcome of what the film's title promises. And boy towards the end does it promise!
Seeing Steve Carrell in a more light-hearted comedy is mostly rare, but he has been able to show his potential in this sub-genre before when he starred in Little Miss Sunshine. Carrell finds a perfect balance between the serious and humorous sides of his character, and it is definitely his most realistic and human performance since his surprising supporting turn in Little Miss Sunshine. Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, and Marisa Tomei round up the female train of this amazing cast, and they all turn in terrific performances by also blending together very human scenes along with spot-on comedic timing. And I can never get enough of seeing Kevin Bacon starring in more movies each year because he's one of the most underrated actors in the business today. But the real standout is definitely Ryan Gosling. He usually isn't very comedic in most movies he stars in, but here his charming charisma is combined with very witty lines, and they're both blended together perfectly, as he turns in one of the best performances of his career.

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa direct this film with a very realistic vision as they balance the differing tones of dark comedy and human drama with great ease and never let them crash into each other in abrupt manners. It's interesting to see one of the writers of the Disney animated film Bolt be the writer behind this film, but it's a move that surprisingly works. Screenwriter Dan Fogelman's script is filled with witty one-liners for nearly every main character, but it also balances the multi-faceted story arc along with the transitions between the movie's themes involving the sweet,witty,and very realistic subject manner.
Crazy Stupid Love is without a doubt the best romantic comedy I've seen this year. Everything is solid from the very realistic performances from the amazing cast to the brilliant balance of scenes involving situation comedy and real human drama. A must see for any filmbuff out there, but I wouldn't really call this a date movie because the trailer is misleading on that subject.

Final Grade: B+


  1. Great review. I haven't seen a good dark romantic comedy since...... don't quite remember, but I'm glad to hear that Steve Carrell is doing another great performance since Little Miss Sunshine!

  2. Really!? Nice man. And are you serious about this being one of Gosling's best performances? Better than Half Nelson, The Believer, Blue Valentine, Lars and the real girl and All Good things? You've got to be kidding me.

  3. Along the lines of his best performances is what I meant. I haven't seen most of his award-nominated performances yet,but with this film,Drive,and the upcoming The Ides of March,he could have his best year in acting yet.