Crazy, Stupid Love Review

When I turned on FX the other day at noon or so, I was pleasantly surprised with Crazy, Stupid Love (minus the obvious cover-ups on some curse words).

The gimmick that Crazy, Stupid Love goes on is telling many stories at once, but the one it ultimately centers around is Steve Carell as this guy whose wife cheats on him, then wants a divorce. So Carell gets pretty depressed but is ultimately picked back up again by ladies-man Ryan Gosling’s character, who is also a ladies-man.

All of the actors are really good in this movie, and I mean that in every way. Steve Carell is pretty sad as this guy who you can’t help but feel bad for. Then Julianne Moore is his wife, or ex-wife, and it would be so easy to root against her if her character wasn’t equally easy to root for. This is the first movie I’ve ever seen Ryan Gosling in, and from what I hear he’s basically playing real-life Ryan Gosling. Imagine a less wacky Barney Stinson who’s also a bit younger and more mature, then you arrive at Gosling’s character. Even the couple of kid or teenage actors they have in this movie are pretty good. No child actors have yet to blow me away from their performance, but Steve Carell’s son particularly is really good. And then the final two. Kevin Bacon is in this movie, and thank God that present-day Kevin Bacon is in a comedy. I watch The Following and I recently saw him in First Class, and I always think, when will this guy do a comedy? And he is great in this, he’s at that point where he should start doing some more comedies, as long as they aren’t awful, he just has that vibe to him now. And lastly is Emma Stone. This is the first movie off the top of my head where I remember Emma Stone playing an adult and she is really good in the movie, definitely the stand-out from my perspective. I actually have a theory/running joke with some friends that Emma Stone in nearly any movie is like the perfect girlfriend: cute, quirky, likable, everything you want. And in this movie, she sprinkles a lot of humor into those elements, and only furthers my point.

But going back to the gimmick of the plot, as I said this movie centers around multiple different stories and the first 90 minutes especially really make each story feel important. The latter 30 do so too, just one peg less effectively (which means there might have been one point where I was thinking, hey where’s such character right now?). It can be really hard to do a comedy where there’s an ensemble cast and you try to make each character feel important. Modern Family, God love it, is quite humorous but it does suffer from not being able to pull this off. And I give some credit on that to the director.

This movie is really well directed too. There are a few scenes in particular that convince me of this, the main one being where Steve Carell is in the bar, and they’re doing a montage type shot. If you guys have seen The Other Guys, you remember the scene in that where they’re in the bar and it looks like one continuous take of them everywhere in the bar at different stages of the night? That’s exactly what this is, only instead of getting completely drunk, Steve Carell is in various places of the bar hitting on women. That scene, and this other one where Steve Carell and Julianne Moore are at the son’s parent-teacher conference and they’re sitting on two opposite sides of the classroom door. Something about the door separating the two is really haunting and just emphasizes where their relationship is.  Also props because this is a PG-13 romantic comedy, and most directors or writers just sell out these days and go for the raunch at a deliberate R-rating, but I’m happy to see this team didn’t sell out.

So in conclusion, the single word I’d use to describe this film is charming. The movie has a lot of charm that many romantic comedies miss in production. This one though, it really uses a lot of simple humor and effective acting to sell its charming yet damaged premise, a lot like The Spectacular Now. I’m going to give Crazy, Stupid Love 4 Surprising Rom-Coms out of 5. That’s probably way to high a score, but the movie surprised me considering it was just on FX at noon on a weekday.

***

So guys those are my thoughts on Crazy, Stupid Love. Have you seen this movie? If so what are your thoughts on it? And what’s the one romantic comedy movie that you saw and were surprised it wasn’t a complete waste of time? Whatever those answers may be, let me know down below and as always, thanks for reading guys.

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