Jan 23, 2015

Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

I don't think there are many people who can brag about how good their 2011 was like Ryan Gosling can. He starred in Drive, The Ides of March and of course Crazy, Stupid, Love while also becoming one of the most talked about people in the world. Seriously, check out the graph on Google Trends if you don't believe me and check out that growth in '11: Ryan Gosling Popularity.

Anyhow, I'm not really sure how I never got around to seeing Crazy, Stupid, Love. I did manage to catch Drive and The Ides of March Though though. It seems like it was only yesterday when CSL first came out, but actually it's been almost five years. How scary is that? At least I can finally say that I've seen it, but I sure took my sweet time getting there.


Genre: comedy, drama, romance
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Produced by: Steve Carell, Denise Di Novi, Vance DeGeneres, etc.
Written by: Dan Fogelman
Music by: Christophe Beck, Nick Urata
Running time: 118 minutes
Production company: Carousel Productions
Distributed by: Warner Bros., Village Films, Acme Film, etc.
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $50,000,000
Box office: $142,851,197 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, Joey King, Marisa Tomei, Beth Littleford, John Carroll Lynch, Kevin Bacon, Liza Lapira, Josh Groban, Mekia Cox, Julianna Guill, Zayne Emory, Crystal Reed, Joanne Brooks, Reggie Lee



Out for dinner with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore), Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) learns that she's cheated on him and that wants a divorce. Blindsided by the announcement, he moves out and takes solace in a bar where he is unable to talk to patrons about anything else but his cheating wife. This attracts the attention of womanizer Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) who takes pity on him and decides to help him recapture his manhood and make Emily regret ever having left him.


What makes Crazy, Stupid, Love. truly shine is the on-screen pairing of Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. Their characters aren't anything we haven't seen before, but writer Dan Fogelman gives them both a decent amount of depth, just like he does for the rest of his characters as well. While this is an undeniably funny movie, it's also one that displays some genuine human emotion through its characters which is pretty nice.

But seriously, Carell and Gosling. I absolutely loved this pair together. Carell is just perfect as the unfashionable, sad sack, middle-aged man who's in sore need of a makeover and I couldn't wait to see the results. When it comes to Gosling's Jacob, well I guess you could say he even took my breath away (I'm a guy). Gosling got nominated for a Golden Globe for his work and I can totally see why. His performance looks effortless and he just oozes leaking-off-the-screen charisma.

Going back to the story, I really enjoyed how all the different trajectories of all the characters inevitably intersected. It's intelligently executed and I was honestly caught off guard by some of the twists. I suppose the best way to explain that is due to just how much I was enjoying the comedy and the more dramatic moments as well. There truly are some great scenes about love and how tough it can be at times. Also, when it comes to doing awkward, CSL succeeds in making things uncomfortably awkward more than once.

The twists are mostly big coincidences that would be pretty hard to believe if they actually occurred in real life. I ended up not really caring that much whether or not these coincidences were ridiculous or not. It's just too easy to get completely caught up in the mayhem that co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa create and there's too much fun to be had.

One thing I do have to criticize however is the climax. (Spoilers) It's a very typical audience address that magically resolves all the conflicts. (End Spoilers) Although it's a well-acted scene, it's a bit disappointing that Dan Fogelman thought this was the best way to end the film. It's something that's been done time and time again. It's not the worst of its kind, but I'd have wanted something different. It is however a satisfying ending all the same.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is not a movie that set out to reinvent the comedy/drama/romance genre. With good performances and a meaty script in regards to its characters, it manages to be extremely entertaining. Its coincidences are a bit much if you give it too much thought, but it's all too easy to look beyond that.



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