By: Emily Kellas
Rating: 6.5 out of 10
What an appropriate title for a film that is equal parts crazy plot lines, uninspiring love stories, all culminating in the overall effect of stupidity. Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, Crazy, Stupid, Love. showed such promise as previews showboated an all-star cast including the hilarious Steve Carrell, uber sexy Ryan Gosling, the exquiste Julianna Moore, and the fresh talent of Emma Stone. With highly talented actors and the typical love theme, Crazy, Stupid, Love. should have been an easy box office win for the romantic comedy lover, but instead leaves many feeling unfulfilled.
Cal (Carrell) is under the impression that his marriage to Emily (Moore) is the picture of happiness, until she decides it’s time for a divorce. Devastated by the reality of his torn marriage Cal finds help and friendship in a womanizing playboy, Jacob Palmer (Gosling). Jacob vows to help Cal find his manhood once more but as the plot thickens and emotions run high Cal finds a little more than a couple of willing young girls, and a new wardrobe.
Emotionally engaging an audience into the lives of its characters is exactly what a good romantic comedy should do, and what Crazy, Stupid, Love. does not do. The dramatic, emotional moments of the film usually that involve the feuding yet still caring divorcing couple falls flat from a real connection.
The humor in the film seems to follow the same trend throughout, as it remains both unoriginal and not nearly frequent enough to break up the monotony of the quarreling. Not even Marissa Tomei or Kevin Bacon’s guest appearances could provide for ample comic relief. Instead, their performances only provide oddly shot scenes, and an awkward conversation between my mother and I about turn-ons. With that said, the film could have used a touch more uniqueness as it is doomed to fade into the background of summer 2011 releases.
However, the performances given in the film are the most well-done aspect of Crazy, Stupid, Love. Carrell has truly perfected his persona as the lovable “every man” or the “suburban father” and makes a character whose decisions have veered from the traditional, acceptable to a wide audience. Meanwhile Julianne Moore manages to take on a character who could have easily been hated due to her
transgressions but is in the end perhaps just as lovable as Carrell.
Ryan Gosling was perhaps the most surprising performance as he coupled his normal charm with unapologetic humor, gaining some of the biggest laughs in the theater, as well as most of the swoons. And of the course the “it-girl” of the hour Emma Stone’s delivery of a confused and awkward young woman, not only had me laughing, but connecting to her character as well.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is an average attempt at a film idea that could have really turned out to be something fantastically different and refreshing but opted to stay within the lines. By playing it safe the movie missed the mark, and has landed among the forgettable mist of romantic comedies past.
Though it will make for a decent girls night out, don’t expect it to be counted as one of the greats in film history. If anything Crazy Stupid Love gives women across the world an excuse to sit and stare innocently or not, at a half-naked Ryan Gosling, just make sure to bring some tissues to clean up the drool.