Maybe I’m becoming a softy, maybe I’m just sentimental, or maybe CRAZY, SUPID, LOVE is one of the best romantic comedy/dramas to come along all year long. I don’t know how since it had some cards stacked against it, because I’m not the biggest Steve Carell fan (actually I just really don’t like his character on The Office) and I felt that the trailer was a funny and appealing mask hiding the ugly movie underneath. Turns out all you need is a cool as hell Ryan Gosling, two sides of Steve Carell, a smart script and the adorable Emma Stone delivering your one PG-13 F-bomb to have one hell of a funny and touching romantic comedy with some great drama on the side.
Cal (Steve Carell) is blindsided when his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore) asks for a divorce. He moves out and begins spending his nights at a local bar where he mumbles and spouts off about his wife’s infidelity and sudden change of heart. Another bar attendee, Jacob (Ryan Gosling), decides to lend Cal a helping hand by helping him get back in touch with himself as a man and a loving husband. Cal is a very timid student at first but catches on to the fast and loose lifestyle of Jacob. It doesn’t take Cal long to realize that the bachelor lifestyle just isn’t what he is missing.
For such a simple and cliché premise there is so much content in CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE that makes it grow on you and get better and better as it goes along. At the beginning I was nervous because I didn’t like the characters that much and didn’t know why I was supposed to care about them. Then it quickly rushed to me once I finally got into some of the laughs and the camaraderie of Gosling and Carell. Amidst the quirky comedic moments there is real heart in the mix, which will assuredly turn some viewers off. If you stick with it though and let it all sink in I have little doubt you won’t enjoy yourself.
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE is an indie movie with indie spirit and indie heart but with the Hollywood gloss and stars to make it stand out. This is a movie that could work even without the fantastic cast that lights up the screen. Since we have the name though let me say that Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Steve Carell and Emma Stone all knock it out of the park. Gosling is undeniably cool even when he’s being a jerk; Steve Carell proves once again he isn’t just the bumbling idiotic boss of Dunder & Mifflin but a real actor with great dramatic chops. Moore is funny and heartwarming and Stone has a somewhat muted role but is always very adorable and hilarious. Marisa Tomei makes an appearance as well and is great even if just slightly crazy. And Kevin Bacon, well, I’m just not sure why Kevin Bacon was cast in this one.
The script has kind of a sneaky style and wit about it. It’s cliché and formulaic at times but offsets itself by being somewhat self aware and surprising. There are moments of the movie that I could easily predict and then several moments that caught me completely off guard. It’s those moments that made me go “oh snap” that thrust me deeper and deeper into loving this film. I cannot undermine the predictable moments either though, because even though I saw some stuff coming there were some curveballs lurking even within the predictability.
There’s obvious moments designed to make the entire audience laugh and understated moments meant to tickle the funnybone of people that love their comedy subtle as well as uproarious. There are moments ranging an over-the-top brawl to a character randomly playing the game on the back of a cereal box during a dramatic montage. There’s inappropriate imagery and ideas regarding underage kids and dialogue about the male and female anatomy that’s, for the most part, handled tastefully so as to, just barely, fit in that PG-13 rating.
CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE is full of great characters that switch back and forth from endearing to somewhat deplorable but I never hated a single one of them. I have no doubt the film will seem too staged or contrived for some and too mushy and dramatic for others. For me though, CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE isn’t crazy, it isn’t stupid but I absolutely loved it. Love is crazy sometimes- it can make you do stupid things, but as the film shows, true love is always worth fighting for. CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE is a perfect date movie for young and old- it’s a great movie for couples to rekindle over and chuckle at the small truths about being in love or being married. Guys just don’t be surprised if your girl pictures you as a shirtless Ryan Gosling for the next couple weeks.