Crazy, Stupid, Love
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
- Steve Carell as Cal Weaver
- Ryan Gosling as Jacob Palmer
- Julianne Moore as Emily Weaver
- Emma Stone as Hannah
- Kevin Bacon as David Lindhagen
- Marisa Tomei as Kate
- Jonah Bobo as Robbie Weaver
- Analeigh Tipton as Jessica
A very disarming romantic comedy, that brings in touching drama effectively, Crazy, Stupid, Love guarantees laughs and sympathy with a big heart and fabulous cast. This is for my money, one of the better romantic comedies in years.
Middle-aged Cal Weaver’s life looks like it’s going swimmingly; he’s long time been married to high school sweetheart, has two children and a good job. But this is about to take a sever nosedive as Emily reveals that she has cheated on him and now wants a divorce. Dejected and shocked, he drowns his sorrows at the bar. While there, resident Lothario Jacob Palmer takes sympathy on depressed Cal and offers to help him turn his life around. Cal accepts and smooth-talking Jacob soon has him growing more confident with a makeover and tips regarding the dating scene. Cal finds that after getting awkwardly to grips with dating, he can be quite a guy and a real charmer with the ladies. Yet while gaining confidence and his mojo back, Cal can’t help but feel that something is missing and that he may have to confront the feelings he still has for Emily. Meanwhile, Jacob finds himself falling for law student Hannah, who initially rebuffed him but wants some excitement in her life after feeling that her steady but dull boyfriend is not what she was looking for. Because he has always been the player, Jacob doesn’t know how to approach the possibility of love. Also feeling the pangs of love is Cal’s son Robbie, who has a hopeless crush on his pretty 17-year-old babysitter Jessica( who it transpires has feelings for Cal herself). Much hilarity and unexpected results abound as a result of love.
Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa really know what they’re doing with this kind of project and ensure that the laughs flow just as much as the drama of it all. By far the largest and best thing Crazy, Stupid, Love has in its artillery is a snappy script. There is a devilish and side-splitting back and forth there;particularly in regards to the Cal and Jacob parts of the movie( the makeover of Cal is a very hysterical part), as well as a good few cynical jabs at pop culture’s idea of romance. What set apart from many other film of the crowd, was that it let the characters be flawed yet likable. With too many comedies, it becomes a case of us always having to like the characters all the time. Crazy, Stupid, Love does things differently by equally making time for the humorous aspects of the players and blending with the touching insights we get to them, expressing their insecurities and desires. The movie never ceases to be hysterically funny and irreverent, but the added parts of drama give it a lot more impact and made it a better movie that what I expected it to be. And rather than be overly predictable, there are some extremely well-timed surprises along the way, bolstered by a genuine heart and sympathy. Love and relationships are depicted as funny, complex and unexplainable, but always there no matter what. A gentle and amiable score perfectly matches the events on screen in a very accomplished way that doesn’t overstate things. The only niggle I found was that the film was a tad too long, but honestly that was the only thing in a very funny and satisfying movie.
A winning cast is the proverbial cherry on top. Steve Carell is inspired casting as the hapless Cal, who doesn’t know what to do with his life after discovering the infidelity of his wife. The required awkwardness, every man quality and emotion is glimpsed, but Carell succeeds the most at displaying his sense of humour once Cal gets a new lease of life. Some of his facial expressions are just so funny and equally touching, often in quick succession and it is hard not to want to reach through the screen and tell this guy that things will work out for him. Ryan Gosling plays remarkably well off the straight-laced and sympathetic Carell with his matinee idol image of a stud put to great use. Yet while his good looks and charisma are all there, he also gets the opportunity to reveal a bit more than just the standard role of the playboy wing man. Both men take up a lot of the story and have a blast doing so. The rapport between them is one of those winning combinations that benefits the other and ensures that the laughs and good nature of Crazy, Stupid, Love come percolating through. The distinctively emotional and expressive delivery of Julianne Moore is very well suited to the part of conflicted Emily. We witness how she begins to rue her decision to ask for divorce, despite being involved with someone else. As usual, Moore is terrific. Emma Stone is a vibrant flash of energy and has some sparkling chemistry with Ryan Gosling, alongside humour to burn. Laughs are also guaranteed courtesy of Marisa Tomei, playing the schoolteacher who sleeps with Cal and then becomes neurotic over him not bothering with her because of his new lifestyle. Her scenes are a real hoot and though the part is small, it’s well-played and memorable. Kevin Bacon has probably the least developed part of the man Emily cheated on Cal with, but has fun with it anyway in the way that he knows how. Jonah Bobo, despite his young years, comes off incredibly confident and mature when playing the young boy mooning over his babysitter crush, while also dispensing advice about love to grown ups. The lovely Analeigh Tipton sweetly portrays the longings of a girl near womanhood and the confusion of it all, very perceptively and honestly.
In fact, it must be stated that Crazy, Stupid, Love features such great chemistry from each cast member, it’s positively infectious.
A simply wonderful and warm slice of romantic comedy-drama, Crazy, Stupid, Love is the kind of the film that will leave you with a massive grin on your face.