Sean K. Cureton

Great Summer Film With No Superheros, Cowboys, Aliens, Smurfs, or Apes

In Movie Reviews: 2011 on August 8, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Theatrical Poster

Crazy, Stupid, Love.
3 out of 4 stars
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

For the most part, Hollywood is fairly consistent when it comes to churning out average to mediocre romantic comedies on a bi-monthly to monthly basis. With films like Valentine’s Day or any Katherine Heigl film that has come out after Knocked Up, it is very rare for a romantic comedy to come along that breaks away from the average and delivers a story that is fresh and original. Crazy, Stupid, Love. is just that kind of romantic comedy.

The movie starts with Cal and his wife Emily, played brilliantly by Steve Carell and Julianne Moore, at dinner together. Before Cal can even say what he wants for dessert, Emily tells him that she wants a divorce. The rest of the film takes place over the next year of this couple’s life, and how they find their way back into one another’s hearts. Along the way, several other characters find their way into the story, and the ways in which each of these characters ultimately find themselves involved within Cal and Emily’s relationship is an unexpected thrill.

What makes this romantic comedy so special is the way in which each of the actors within the film have been perfectly cast and give performances that make everyone of the characters within the film interesting and more importantly original. In particular, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling shine in their roles as Cal and Jacob, a womanizing bachelor who attempts to gain all his happiness through money alone. Gosling is hysterical and disarmingly pleasant to watch even when he engages in behavior that would otherwise be despicable if it were not for his excellent performance. And Carell is able to match Gosling’s sleaze perfectly as the recently divorced husband who is trying so desperately to forget the fact that he still loves his ex-wife by feigning interest in various women that Jacob introduces him to.

Outside of the Cal and Jacob story, Julianne Moore is also brilliant in her character, who immediately feels a sense of regret at leaving her husband, while trying to find a way to love David Lindhagen, played by Kevin Bacon, a colleague that she slept with while still living with Cal. It would be very easy to go on and describe in detail all of the other notable performances in the film, but then every actor would need to be mentioned as every performance in this film was so great. Instead, names will be mentioned as follows: Emma Stone, Jonah Bobo, and Analeigh Tipton.

In conclusion, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is the best romantic comedy this reviewer can remember seeing within the past four years at least. It boasts a great script, a stellar cast, and characters that are too real to be easily forgotten. Steve Carell delivers his best performance since 2007’s Dan in Real Life, and everyone around him is able to match his performance in spades. Crazy, Stupid, Love. might not have spandex clad demigods, cowboys, aliens, a smurf, or any super intelligent apes, but it does have a heart that beats with the rhythm of the human soul, and that is something that is hard to find in Hollywood today.


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