When my mum and her friend saw Crazy, Stupid, Love before me, her friend said they should get rid of the word Stupid from the title because that’s not the right adjective to label this movie with. After seeing the movie myself, there wasn’t a lot of exaggeration in her comment.
Cal Weaver’s (Steve Carrell) world is rocked when his wife of 25 years Emily (Julianne Moore) tells him she no longer loves him and wants a divorce. When drowning his sorrows regularly at a singles’ bar and boring everyone about his wife’s infidelity, he comes across ladies man Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who takes a pity on him. Jacob gives Cal a wardrobe and lifestyle makeover to make him a man again, but are his womanizing standards going to get short-circuited by Hannah (Emma Stone)?
This is an incredibly rare funny rom-com we’d be lucky to get once a year. There are so many layers of story involving a teacher played hilariously by Marisa Tomei, Emily’s boss played by Kevin Bacon, and the Weaver’s 13-year-old son who has a crush on his 17-year-old babysitter, who has a secret agenda of her own. Praise to the trailer for not giving away so much.
This is a painfully funny comedy with some crazy turns of events, led by a flawless, charismatic cast who deliver nostalgic tender moments and hilarious dialogue. Steve Carrell is uncanny in his ability to combine sad, seriousness and funny. It might be his best part (on film) since The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Ryan Gosling is coming around as a solid actor after a string of dramatic roles and he isn’t given anything cheap as the womanising lounge lizard. Julianne Moore steps back from playing the typical, disliking ex-wife cliche and she is lovely as always, and young Emma Stone just shines whenever she’s on screen. They’re the main stars but everyone is given a crucial role.
The film was written by Dan Fogelman who wrote Pixar’s Cars and Cars 2. Directors Glenn Ficara and John Requa, who together wrote Bad Santa, directed their first feature with I Love You, Phillip Morris which, although was critically acclaimed, was a box-office failure (despite starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor). Crazy, Stupid, Love is going to make them a lot of money because not only would I recommend it to everyone, but I would like to see it at the cinema for the second time.
It has its minor flaws in the end, but 90% of Crazy, Stupid, Love has so much heart, pain and laughs that makes this story of family and getting a grip on life a warmth of fresh air.