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Crazy, Stupid, Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love

What She said:

She

I’m just going to say this up front.  The worst part of this movie, for me, was the title.  It oozes Cameron Diaz or Selena Gomez chick flick.  But Crazy, Stupid, Love. isn’t really the mind numbing romance that you would think it to be.  Sure, love is at the root of everything that happens in the flick, but it’s really more of a coming-of-age story for both Steve Carell, and more peripherally, Ryan Gosling. 

I apologize, I’m not very good at remember character’s names.  Let me clear this up for everyone.  Steve Carell plays Cal Weaver, a lovably dorky dad whose life is rocked when his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), cheats on him and asks for a divorce.  Her lover turns out to be Kevin Bacon, which, of course, makes sense.  Cal is forced to begin a new, single life, and so he gravitates to a pathetically hip bar, frequented by consummate ladies man, Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling).  Jacob takes Cal under his wing and teaches him the ins and outs of scoring big with women.  In the meantime, there’s a side story with aspiring attorney, Hannah, who feels like her love life has fizzled.  Things are all interwoven, and we get to watch as both Cal and Jacob begin to reassess their lives.

I found this movie both funny and heartwarming.  There were a few moments where I genuinely felt bad for Cal, like cry bad, and there were others where I was rooting his pathetic tush on.  Jacob embodies every stereotype of a sleezy club-rat, and yet he’s slightly lovable.  Maybe that’s because he takes a genuine interest in Cal.  I thought the performances from all the actors in this movie were pretty spot-on.  Julianne Moore is confused and conflicted.  Emma Stone embraces the innocent, yet ambitious.  Marissa Tomei is psychotic.  And Kevin Bacon, well, he’s Kevin Bacon—you’ll want to punch him in the face, and then grab a beer with him afterwards.

There’s one other thing about this movie that made me enjoy it, but I’m not even going to imply what it could be because I don’t want to give away any of the fun.  Let’s just say, it caught me off guard. 

Crazy, Stupid, Love. outshines it’s ridiculous title, and endears as a movie with a soul.  It’s not perfect, but the engaging characters and strong performances make it quite enjoyable.

Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

Boy did this movie throw me for a loop. I was totally expecting a typical rom-com, but I was pleasantly surprised to find something much better. This is more of a comedy/drama that just so happens to center around relationships. It was very funny and had a great story to boot. If it helps, think of this movie as a mix of Little Miss Sunshine and The 40 Year Old Virgin.

Steve Carell (Cal) and Julianne Moore (Emily) play a struggling couple; though Carell’s character really doesn’t see it that way and is totally blindsided when she requests a divorce. His troubles are only just beginning though, as he reinserts himself into the dating world. The shock of the divorce was nothing compared becoming single again. He begins doing all the wrong things: wearing dorky dad clothes, drinking himself into a stooper at the bar, and worst of all airing his dirty laundry for all to hear.

Jacob (Ryan Gosling) notices him at the bar and for some reason decides to take pity upon him. Jacob has it all and he knows it. He’s good looking, has all the right clothes, and seemingly perfect. He’s also something of an a-hole, but hey when has that ever stopped someone from scoring with the opposite sex?

At first, Cal is very uncomfortable with Jacob’s approach to the dating game. It’s the opposite of everything he’d ever do. But sure enough, he embraces Jacob’s advice and becomes something of a stud himself.

Everything changes though when Jacob meets a girl (Emma Stone) that he considers a game changer and Cal begins to yearn for his wife.

This is a funny, well acted, and all around entertaining movie that I highly recommend.

I want to point out the performance of the young fella playing the son. That kid was hilarious beyond his years. I look forward to seeing what else he stars in down the line.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on December 8, 2011