Friday, September 9, 2011

Movie Review- Crazy, Stupid, Love

Quirky, fun, endearing

Most critics like to describe this movie in sections: the Crazy, the Stupid and the Love. But this is not Eat, Pray, Love people. It's not a film with different sections. I believe the title suggest that love is crazy and stupid. This film is not shy with showing it's crazy or stupid sides, and that makes it the smartest and most realistic romantic comedy of the year. 

Let's start with the basics: Cal (Steve Carell) is a regular guy with a family and nine-to-five job. After years of the same old routine, Cal's wife Emily (Julianne Moore) tells Cal she cheated on him with a guy at work (Kevin Bacon) and now she wants a divorce. Cal is... bummed to say the least and has no direction in life. Enter Ryan Gosling's Jacob- a ladies' man to the core. He never cares about anything under the surface until he meets Hannah (Emma Stone). Finally, there's Cal's son Robbie who's in love with his babysitter Jessica. She, however, is in love with someone more inappropriate.

This film focuses on how these love lives interact and impact each other. Directors Glen Ficcara and  John Requa could have thrown in every cliche in the book- and to be honest there were a few- but the story seemed fresh and exciting, thanks in large part to the great script and the outstanding performances from the four leads.

Steve Carell has proven time and again how great he can be in all types of roles: Little Miss Sunshine, Dan in Real Life and this film are prime examples of how he strikes a perfect balance between the serious and the funny. He is utterly heartbreaking, hilarious and endearing all at the same time. Julianne Moore is stunning as always and actually shares a sweet chemistry with Carell. Emma Stone is charming as always- anyone who was a fan of hers from Easy A will continue their love fest here. But this film would not have been the same with anyone besides Ryan Gosling. He is a genuine star in this film, and it's about damn time considering how pitch perfect he is in most everything. His bromance with Steve Carell is the highlight of the whole movie- no wonder it takes up a large chunk of the story.

Sometimes the plot lines still felt a bit forced and it wasn't crazy enough for my taste- I think the directors did crazy MUCH better with their first film I Love You Phillip Morris but considering this is a more mainstream venture than that film, there's a great divide between Crazy Stupid Love and other rom-coms. Hopefully the genre can be changed with the addition of this film. No longer should romantic comedies be called chick flicks- as long as they are made like this.


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