Sunday, August 07, 2011
Crazy Stupid Love
Stupid may be in the title but this is a smart script and a very enjoyable adult comedy/drama. In many ways, it addresses clichés head on while at the same time managing to avoid them altogether. The cast is first rate and really sells the story.
Steve Carell and Julianne Moore play Cal and Emily, a couple who's life is turned upside down when Emily announces early on that she wants a divorce. When Cal meets Jacob, played by Ryan Gosling, at a local pick-up bar, Jacob takes him under his wing (complete with total makeover) to teach him the art of meeting and seducing women.
Multiple love interests are entwined among the various characters and they all come together in a most surprising way. The film has two directors, John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, both of whom do a great job balancing the subplots. The family, friends, kids, and strangers that all cross paths are very real characters dealing with the joys and anguish of love.
Emma Stone, as Hannah, continues to mature as an actor and holds her own in her scenes with Ryan Gosling (who shows a flair for comedy for the first time). Jonah Bobo plays Robbie, Mr. Carell's wise 13 year old son with love problems of his own and he is a standout. Mr. Carell does his best work yet balancing his silly side with some well done serious moments. Ms. Moore is good but becoming rote with too many similar characters. The same can be said for Marisa Tomei (but she's so good at her type of character).
This is a modern love story with a lot of heart and just the right touch of crazy.