Movie review – Crazy Stupid Love

2011-08-26 15:39

Crazy Stupid Love is a funny, romantic,

good-natured comedy that steers well clear of vulgarity, toilet humour

and sex scenes that leave little to the imagination.

Film: Crazy Stupid Love (Nu Metro)

Directors: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

Featuring: Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, John Carroll Lynch and Marisa Tomei
Rating: 7/10

In other words, this is one comedy that the Judd Apatow effect hasn’t sullied.

Sure, it dips into shameless sentimentality here and there, but it’s such a sweet film that all is forgiven. It’s such a relief not to have the cast cussing like they have just been Shanghai’ed the whole way through.

Steve Carell, who proved with the quirky Dan in Real Life that he can easily pull off a romantic lead, does it again.

Carell plays Cal, who has been married to his high school sweetheart, Emily (Julianne Moore), for more than 25 years.

Out on a date night, she asks for a divorce, telling him that she’s slept with someone else and may be having a mid-life crisis.

He is heartbroken, moves out in a daze and one night ends up drinking vodka and cranberry juice in a bar. This is where he crosses paths with that of phly Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a man who is so attractive to women he can only exist on celluloid.

Jacob takes Cal under his designer wing, makes him buy a few new suits and teaches him the art of seduction. In the process, Cal gets his manhood, or confidence, back.

In another part of town, Cal’s 13-year-old son is wrestling with first love – a crush on his babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who in turn has a schoolgirl fixation on Cal.

This is one potentially explosive love triangle, but the writers do a careful job of unravelling it to everyone’s satisfaction after the initial blow-up.

Another subplot is that of Hannah (Emma Stone), the only woman in the bar who has turned Jacob down. She is hoping that her sweet and steady boyfriend, Richard (Josh Groban), will propose.

Delivering short, sharp comedy parts are Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei. Hilarious!

At first glance, this film has an odd conglomeration of people. It’s written by the guys who wrote the animated hits, Cars
and Tangled.

The directors have only ever directed one other film – the off-the-wall I Love You Phillip Morris with Jim Carrey.

Then there’s Gosling. He’s done mainstream work such as The Notebook and Fracture, but he is better known for his indie films.

His roles in Half Nelson (for which he received an Oscar nomination), The Believer, Stay and this year’s Blue Valentine are more his speed, and I would have thought that his work in Lars and the Real Girl was as light as it could get.

I was dead wrong. He easily slips into this fluff, proving that anything lightweights such as Ryan Reynolds and Matthew McConaughey can do, he can do sexier.

It’s a great date movie, a fun girls’ night out (with the bonus of a Gosling torso shot) and a nice change from the vulgarity that passes for humour in Hollywood. Crazy Stupid Love will appeal to just about everyone.

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