Release Date: July 29, 2011 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Romance, Romantic Comedy
Just shy of their 25-year wedding anniversary Cal and Emily Weaver are having dinner; a very unromantic dinner. Emily (Julianne Moore), in true horror fashion, blurts out she wants a divorce after having had an affair; Cal (Steve Carell) quickly evaporates into a shell of a man. So begets the beginning of Crazy, Stupid, Love..
The film continues to follow Cal and Emily as they divorce, re-discover the dating world that they never knew much of, to begin with, while throwing in three more coupling’s to watch fulfill the “crazy”, the “stupid”, and the “love” of the film’s title. Those being between smooth-talking ladies man Jacob (Ryan Gosling) and Hannah (Emma Stone), and two smaller and sweet crushes between the son of Cal and Emily with his babysitter, as well as the babysitter and a man that cannot be revealed as it would spoil a few great laughs the film supplies.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. does definitely succeed at displaying the three adjectives it promises. The men and even the woman do some stupid things, they also do some loving things, and on occasion something crazy. The film is a simple diversion, and one that may not be the grandest of romances, or comedies, or full of crazy antics, but there is an effortless pleasure in watching all of the characters interact with one another in varying circumstances that inevitably overlap in one almost grand finale.
It may have something to do with the chemistry everyone has together on screen, whether they like each other or not. Maybe it is how everything looks pretty, people and locations alike, and all of the darkness that comes along with a story about divorce is ignored. The best bet is the infusions of humor that are sprinkled all over the script and carried out flawlessly by Carell, Gosling, and the rest of the cast.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is very much a comedy that finds its humor in the circumstances. There are not any great characters, or even really funny moments in the film. The laughs come in the small details, even if the empathy and emotion never touch upon the viewer it still finds itself an easy way to squander a couple hours of your time.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. may be an easy film to find oneself lost in, amidst the random bouts of humor, as well as the fine acting by the entire ensemble cast. What it lacks, and much to the dismay of a viewer looking for something more from a romcom-dramedy is depth. The characters plights are all handled without perspective or reflection. Emily announces she wants a divorce and just as quickly the moving truck is parked in the driveway with Cal already having found an apartment.
After almost 25 years of marriage, one expects more to be said and done on the subject but screenwriter Dan Fogelman has omitted the deeper feelings of such a situation and instead focuses more time on the transformation of Cal from tennis shoe wearing Dad to a bar-hopping ladies man. This trend continues with each of the other couple’s as well.
Jacob (Ryan Gosling) is played up as an Adonis. A man every woman wants because he wants them. The shallowness of his existence is clear from the moment he appears on screen, dripping with sexuality but lacking anything below the surface. When he meets Hannah (Emma Stone) his carefree lifestyle of picking up a different woman every night is cast aside, and for a very brief moment, we witness a change in him. At the same time, this change occurs quickly, without thought or hesitation. Here is a man who is changing his entire life, the only way he knows how to be, yet his emotions are overlooked. Love appears to conquer all, erase the past, and forge a future where past habits and inclinations cease to exist–the believability of this is funnier than the actual scenes Jacob appears.
Everything does seem to come back to Cal and Emily, time and time again and the notion of a soulmate being spoken out loud. Julianne Moore does what she can with Emily, invoking as much emotional range one can with a very one-dimensional character. Steve Carell is the good guy, the one you marry, and he projects this even when trying to be the lothario Jacob has taught him to become. There are moments of pain in Cal, but at the same time he easily leaves his children with a babysitter so he can hit the bar–something that draws the viewer away from liking Cal, or seeing him as the good guy in the situation of the divorce, because he so easily makes choices that go against the family man mentality.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. has a great deal of talent with Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, and Marisa Tomei. Fogelman, unfortunately, does not utilize their talent more so than a random moment here and there, and not nearly enough for anyone to invest in these characters. A greater amount of depth, of development, and conflict were needed in Crazy, Stupid, Love. to save it from mediocre status but none of these elements ever find the way onto the screen.
Cast and Crew
- Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
- Screenwriter: Dan Fogelman
- Cast: Emma Stone (Hannah), Steve Carell (Cal Weaver), Ryan Gosling (Jacob Palmer), Kevin Bacon (David Lindhagen), Crystal Reed (Amy Johnson), Julianne Moore (Emily Weaver)Marisa Tomei (Kate) Joey King (Molly)Julianna Guill (Madison)Analaleigh Tipton (Jessica Riley)
- Editor(s): Lee Haxall
- Cinematographer: Andrew Dunn
- Production Designer(s): William Arnold
- Music Score: Christophe Beck
- Country Of Origin: USA