Sunday, July 31, 2011

Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love

When his wife (Julianne Moore) announces at dinner that she has had an affair and wants a divorce, Cal (Steve Carell) begins his new life as a pathetic single whose only had sex with one person in his entire life. After a couple of nights in a bar, a good-looking ladies man named Jacob(Ryan Gosling) offers to help Cal rebuild his image and get in with the ladies. One night Jacob meets Hanna (Emma Stone), a recent law school graduate, who rejects him, then questions her current relationship. Meanwhile Cal and Emily's son falls in love with his babysitter, and as they begin their new dating lives (including some extended cameos from Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei) they began to see just how complicated and well, crazy and stupid love can be, and just how complicated the webs of relationships we weave truly are.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a refreshing romantic comedy, with some nice twists, and some truly exceptional performances. Steve Carell is the master at playing the broken down dad/husband (see Dan in Real Life), and this time also deftly combines his comedic talents which creates a great lead performance. Ryan Gosling is a fantastic actor, but I had not realized just how great of a comedic performance he can turn out. He is suave, and hilarious throughout the entire film. While I would have loved to have seen more of them both Julianne Moore and Emma Stone give stellar outings, particularly Stone, who continues to prove that she is becoming a comedic superstar who is natural and effervescent every second she graces the screen. While only on screen probably 15 minutes, Marisa Tomei also proves that she can be funny, and while her performance was short, it was definitely memorable.

That being said, I wasn't completely crazy over some of the subplots, especially since many of them were rushed to the finish line. Nor was I completely crazy about some of the more stale cliche moments that, while not frequent, still look like blemishes on what was otherwise a great project. Furthermore, the aftermath of the climax is just a few scenes too long, and kind of makes the otherwise really good conclusion have a somewhat rough landing.

That being said, the pros far outweigh the cons, and Crazy, Stupid, Love manages to be a light and funny film that is a wonderful summer movie, and acts as a great showcase for a group of talented actors, who seem to be having a great time. I think audiences will feel the same way.

Grade: B+

Oscar Potential: Probably not, but definitely some Golden Globe love.

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