Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Country: United States
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Time: 118 minutes
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
USA Release: 7/29/2011
On DVD (USA): 11/1/2011
Awards: 1 Golden Globe Nomination
With the same slew of Rom-Com’s that come out every year, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” takes an interesting and more realist look at the ups and downs of not only married life but dating in general, although in a much darker tonal way. With a fantastic cluster of top actors, it’s surprising that this didn’t make my top movies of 2011 list, but it came close.
In “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” we meet Cal Weaver (Steve Carell), life is going really well for him, until one night while on a date with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) who suddenly says that she has slept her co-worker David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon) and wants a divorce. Stunted by this Cal goes almost catatonic and on the ride home jumps out of the car just to get away from talking about it. Soon he starts hanging out a bar where he drunkenly recounts his situation to anyone that will listen. While there he witnesses the smooth moves of Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) who successfully hits on a different girl every night. Although he has become interested in a young would-be lawyer named Hannah (Emma Stone) who was the only girl to resist his passes. One night while at the bar Jacob begins watching Cal as he once again drunkenly complains about the same things, and decides to calls him over to make a proposition. Jacob wants to help Cal, so he decides to give him a make over and teach him the tricks of the trade. After a few weeks of watching, Jacob feels that Cal is ready to get back out there, so on Cal’s first attempt he smooth talks a teacher named Kate (Marisa Tomei), at first things are off to a rocky start, but after he starts talking about things Jacob said not to, he has her hooked. And soon it’s let the games begin as the student becomes just as good as the teacher.
Now this might sound all well and good, but going in I was expecting it to be more laugh out loud funny, not that it isn’t funny, it was just surprisingly darker than I initially thought. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa I thought did an excellent job of directing, although at times (mostly near the ending) it gets to heavy-handed for it’s own good. But that being said it lays more on the writer than the directors. At most times the movie round it’s self out nicely but the scene that takes place at the son’s 8th grade graduation, just seems why too over the top, which was one of the main reasons that this didn’t make my list. As for the scenes earlier in the movie, I felt that they were smartly written and even have some unpredicted twist and turns along the way. And like I said earlier even with the early scenes the movie was just overall darker making it more of a drama with some comedy and dealing with romance, than a typical rom-com. In addition like “Friends with Benefits” (F.W.B.) it at times pokes fun at the rom-com genre and the clichés that come with it, although “F.W.B.” did a better job at it.
But some of the best things in the movie lies with the cast that is made up of some of today’s best actors. For the supporting cast that is made up of Analeigh Tipton (Jessica), Jonah Bobo (Robbie) Kevin Bacon (David), Josh Groban (Richard) in his feature film debt and Liza Lapira (Liz), who all did a fantastic job in their roles, especially that of Lapira, who although isn’t seen too often still had some of the sharpest and best lines in the movie. As for the bigger supporting players like Emma Stone, who had a sort of quiet and under the radar kind of performance in comparison to her other works, showing that she is growing as an actress by stepping into a slightly more serious movie. She also was a really great match up with Gosling. Like Stone, Julianne Moore, was shockingly very minimal in this role only being seen a few times here and there, but when she did have a bigger scene, she delivered a great performance. But the best of the supporting cast has to go to Marisa Tomei, who like in “My Cousin Vinny” constantly steals every scene shes in, although there’s a limited number of scenes with her, she still delivers the same energy and comedic timing that won her the Oscar in 1993. Now on to the main cast, Ryan Gosling I thought did a superb job, although not really know for his comedy (as far as I know). He was a great comedic match up with Carell, and can easily pull of the persona of his character’s playboy image. As for Steve Carell, even though to the most part I really liked him in this movie, there were a few times that I just wanted to hit him upside the head because he was going overboard. Two scenes in particular were a scene in the bar where he ends up saying the same word about 20 times, and like I have mentioned before the scene at his son’s 8th grade graduation.
To sum up, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” in whole is a pretty great movie, though there are times that you wonder why a scene was that way. It’s surprisingly darker than some people might think going in, but never gets too depressive. What makes up for some of the negative things in the movie are the great performances done by the entire cast, especially Lapira and Tomei who had the best comedy in the movie.