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Crazy, Stupid, Love. – Funny and enjoyable comedic drama about love

Crazy, Stupid, Love. - Theater Review
Release Date: 07/29/2011 - MPAA Rating: PG-13
Clacker Rating: 4 Clacks

'Crazy, Stupid, Love.' is a surprisingly good movie with enough laughs to balance the awkward drama that's affixed to romance.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

You may have seen one of the ubiquitous trailers playing for this romantic comedy-drama (romantic dramedy? rom-com-dram?) — there have only been several million of them so far. And perhaps you saw a trailer and thought: “Oh, just another cliché-filled romance comedy drama — probably too heavy on the drama, not enough of the comedy.”

Well, prepare yourself for a pleasant surprise, then — Crazy, Stupid, Love. isn’t the most original, but it’s a warm and funny movie with just enough twists and turns to keep you interested. Steve Carell and Julianne Moore play married couple Cal and Emily in a troubled marriage, as Emily wants a divorce after having an affair with surprise cameo Kevin Bacon (X-Men:First Class). There was an audible gasp of delight when this guy appeared on the screen — guess they didn’t see the full cast list beforehand. They have a few kids, including a precocious thirteen-year old son (Jonah Bobo) who’s in love with their seventeen-year old babysitter (Analeigh Tipton). And as you might imagine, she’s in love with Cal, of course.

Then there’s the other major storyline — Ryan Gosling plays Jacob, a smooth and debonair ladies man who takes pity on Cal and decides to help him regain his lost masculinity. At the same time, he finds himself entranced (with good reason) by Hannah, played by the increasingly appealing Emma Stone (Easy A, Friends With Benefits), who is one of the few girls to rebuff his charms. Eventually all of the storylines intertwine in amusing and well-deserved manners. You’ll probably find yourself thinking, “Why, that wasn’t bad at all,” when the credits roll.

It’s a well-written movie, from screenwriter Dan Fogelman (no relation), who’s also written or contributed to such Disney films as Bolt, Cars, Cars 2, and Tangled. And the acting is also excellent, with no weak roles anywhere in sight. The kids are surprisingly not annoying, but actually affecting and amusing in turn. And the babysitter Jessica (actually 22 years old but is very slight) plays the pining teenage girl to great affect. And with great supporting roles from Beth Littleford, Liza Lapira, Marissa Tomei, and a self-deprecating Josh Groban, rarely is there a slow moment on screen.

It’s not perfect — the movie is a bit too long, and there are quite a few characters to keep track of for today’s discerning audience members. The directing is decent enough, and at places quite good from team Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa, I Love You Philip Morris). Many plot points are predictable, but often still fun to watch unfold, and overbearing contrivances for the plot’s sake are rare, which is indeed an oddity for films of this genre.

So do yourself a favor and don’t be fooled by a sub-par trailer — this is a movie that you just might enjoy.


Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Categories: Reviews, Theater Releases

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