There have been a few romantic comedies lately that have tremendous casts, yet they waste their chances at making an enjoyable, honest film about relationships; it’s a good thing Crazy, Stupid, Love made the most of its talent. This film is more of a romantic dramedy that delves into the pain of falling in and out of love while having a bold sense of humor about the craziness of it all. The cast is amazing, and all are committed to their roles, especially Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling.
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa do a fantastic job of balancing all the characters, making them genuine, but always focusing on the main relationship of Cal and Emily in the storm of their divorce. The story certainly isn’t fresh, as certain parts of the story seem very familiar, but it’s mixed up pretty well to project the mayhem that is love. The script is smart and in touch with relative feelings we all share about jealousy and growing bored of a relationship, just as well as it projects that love can be worth it if you believe in it. We get to see love from the eyes of a married man, a womanizer experiencing a “game-changer,” and a thirteen year old boy feeling it for the first time. There’s some great comedy at work, blending in with the drama, and there are twists and turns that make the film feel fresh.
The entire cast does a great job, and dig into their characters rather well. Steve Carrell as Cal, a man in a marriage falling apart that attacks the hard task of getting over her, is his usual funny self; however, Carrell does a solid job with the dramatic scenes, as his line are delivered so sincerely. The audience feels bad for Cal, but can also laugh at some of his misfortunes. Ryan Gosling flexes his comedic muscle, playing the smooth, charming womanizer named Jacob. All the guys want to be him and all the girls want him. The friendship between Cal and Jacob seems a bit awkward at first, but the two make it work and they click rather well. Gosling also has great chemistry with Hanna, Emma Stone, who is “the game changer,” despite their short time on-screen. Julianne Moore plays Emily, Cal’s wife, and the chemistry she has with Carrell is very touching; it feels like they actually had a history. Everyone plays their parts with commitment, making this film work for the most part.
Crazy, Stupid, Love plays out just as advertised. It deals with the whole cheesy deal of having soul-mates, but it handles it in a mature, well-thought out way. Maybe we don’t have soul-mates, and maybe we do, but this film will have you thinking about the complexity of it all. For many, it will make you remember the first time you fell in love, regardless of how crazy or stupid that moment was.
It’s hard to avoid cliches in romantic romedies, and this film has its hiccups of cliche moments, but it doesn’t really disturb the overall quality of the film.
There’s always that feeling of a sit-com-esque safety net, where you know that the characters will be okay at the end of the day. By the end, it’s an enjoyable film, but nothing significantly memorable comes out of it, and some may feel like it could’ve been better.
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