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Crazy Stupid Love

A movie directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

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Definitely crazy, never stupid, but love? Eh...not quite feeling it.

  • Dec 5, 2011
Rating:
+2
**1/2 out of ****

"Crazy, Stupid, Love" is a new romantic comedy that attempts to bend the rules of what seems like a perfectly typical (and complicated) love story. I'll openly admit that - while the results are undeniably entertaining and the film is a pleasant ride throughout - I was left desiring something more. The film, which is at first sight a well-cast and sweet effort for its kind, could be compared to a fine meal claiming to be composed of foreign cuisine; basically, I speak of Americanized foreign food, and in this case, you're getting a pretty good meal for a pretty good price. Yet, you feel unfulfilled and slightly unsatisfied; you have basically just eaten faux foreign food with the pretense of advertising itself as the real deal. You had a good time eating it, you enjoyed it, but you know that there's something more to be desired and even acquired; and the cooks behind the meal didn't make use of every last resource.

That's exactly how I feel about the movie. For the first hour or so, I had a feeling that it was going to end up a three star movie; I was entertained, and I found myself laughing a few times. I thought to myself: this is a perfectly likable movie. It has its flaws for sure, but screw it; I'm engaged. Then, the second half hit; and I was caught off course. This no longer felt like a three star movie, although I was still feeling that perhaps it was deserving of that rating. The rating would either be two and a half stars or three stars; I chose the former in the end, because while the movie is a crowd-pleaser, it's trying to be something more than it is. At the core, it rings hollow; perhaps not as much as most romances this year, but emptiness is emptiness.

Most romantic comedies are self-admittedly more upbeat than this one, at least initially; the film opens with a scene where a rather unhappily married couple - Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) - are considering a divorce, or at least the female in the relationship is. Cal is saddened and shocked by his wife's announcement and almost immediately - but willingly - thrusts himself head-first into the world of city bars and alcohol. He just wants to forget about the harsh times he's facing when he enters that bar; but leaves with something a bit more.

It is in the bar that he meets fancy, handsome womanizer Jacob (Ryan Gosling); who can use his boyish charms to literally get any woman he fancies. Cal is jealous; and Jacob notices this. The more well-kept of the two men decides to help the other find the path to the happiness that lies not too much further down the road; in a matter of days, Cal's wardrobe is expanded - as are his sights in terms of romance - and he has found himself a new friend. Meanwhile, Jacob scans the bar for new targets and ultimately finds one in an attractive woman named Hannah (Emma Stone). She initially fails to fall for the seductive charm of Jacob; although he eventually wins her over. That's probably as far as I should go; there are so many characters, and so many different stories, here. The film is all about its characters; some interesting, some not. In a sense, you might just have to watch it for yourself.

My main problem with "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is that it's a relatively non-formulaic romance; it tries as hard as it can to avoid the clich├ęs and stereotypes often associated with the genre that it falls under. I guess you could say that it does so with much grace; but it fails to escape a few very critical flaws. For one, its reach exceeds its grasp; it wants to be a big, bold movie about all things "love", yet I found it impossible to invest emotionally in the story. Plus, it's a smart film without the proper amount of true insight or intellect to be the great love story that it might aspire to be. The cast makes it work while it lasts - with Gosling delivering some of the best dialogue, humor, and individual moments of both intelligence and charm - but for every movie, there is a target; and "Crazy, Stupid, Love" chooses a difficult one to hit.

The film was directed by Glenn Ficara and John Requa. They are a solid duo, having recently directed the absolutely wonderful (and significantly better) "I Love You Philip Morris". They also scripted "Bad Santa"; another film that I personally adored. They can certainly do better than this; but if this is the worst they can do, then it ain't half bad at all. I am by no means saying that "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is a bad movie; I was just disappointed by it. I had expectations that the film could not entirely meet; although it satisfied me on a level of entertainment alone. That will be enough for most people; but there's plenty here that both bothers and pleases me. Call me crazy, and call me stupid; but that's a gross bastardization of a mix. It just doesn't really...work. But you can't say they didn't at least make an attempt to redeem this flawed material.

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More Crazy, Stupid, Love. reviews
review by . September 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
As comedies go, I think this is probably one of the better ones you will see this year.     Steve Carell plays Cal, a husband who splits from his high school sweetheart, played by Julianne Moore, after she cheats. Hanging out in single bars every nights he sees this ladies man played by Ryan Gosling successfully pick up numerous women, while he says out loud to anyone who will listen, 'my wife cheated on me with xxxx.'     Meanwhile his teenage son has the …
review by . July 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I'll give them crazy and stupid.
CRAZY STUPID LOVE Written by Dan Fogelman Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa Starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone   Jacob: Be better than the Gap.   Well, I’ll give them “crazy” and “stupid” but that’s pretty much where the love stops for me. CRAZY STUPID LOVE is yet another romantic comedy that gets lost in all the crazy highs and stupid lows we have all come to associate with that elusive and all encompassing …
review by . July 27, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Crazy Stupid Love' 'Two Jews On Film' Once Again Only One Feels The Love In This Romantic Comedy
         'Crazy Stupid Love'  written by Dan Fogelman (Cars) opens with a shot of two sets of feet underneath a table in a restaurant. The feet belong to Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) and his wife Emily (Julianne Moore)  Their feet are very far apart from one another...which tells us...something is not quite right with this couple.      As Cal studies the menu, he says to his wife...'Let's shout out on three what …
review by . July 28, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The movie opens with the heartbreak that drives the rest of the movie. Cal played by Steve Carell learns in the middle of a packed restaurant that his marriage is about to end and his wife Emily, played by Julianne Moore, cheated on him with a co-worker. This is not the start to the romantic comedy that we are used to, and from here it could go anywhere. They decide to keep the movie in the comedic wheel house but not without a few dramatic moments.      There is a lot jammed …
review by . July 30, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Crazy, Stupid, Love. is very much a movie, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The fact that it’s so innately cinematic, however, ultimately diminished my ability to appreciate it on a deeper level. This is somewhat disappointing because there are select moments so well written and performed that they show a great deal of intelligence and warmth on the part of directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and screenwriter Dan Fogelman …
review by . August 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There’s always something I can find to love in a romantic comedy. I can always appreciate the sense of wish fulfillment, the authentic sweetness of some, or just how, well, love-able some of the characters can be. In Crazy, Stupid, Love’s case, it’s all three. Crazy Stupid Love (or “CSL” as it’s going to be known for the rest of this review) is, at times, predictable and it’s a film that by all means plays to the romantic comedy tropes, but it’s also …
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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #3
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Release Date: 29 July 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Dan Fogelman
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