Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #257 Crazy, Stupid, Love.

In Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 7:46 AM

Movie #257 Crazy, Stupid, Love. 

(2011, US, d. Glenn Ficara, John Requa)

Boasting an all-star cast that includes Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, and Kevin Bacon, this summer hit is one of the films of the season I recommend watching in theaters. With the high influx of recent romantic comedies, it would have seemed that would have all just melted in with one another. But surprisingly, that’s not the case here. The best part of this film is that it is based on character. Writer Dan Fogelman spends time and extended sequences devoted to falling in love with whichever lead he has us watching. Though not a new strategy in any way, Fogelman here does it with class and most of all, honesty. The biggest thing the modern romantic comedy has lost is honesty. They’re often so riled up in the raunchy and hilarity and formula that they forget what they are really about. Crazy, Stupid, Love. not once falls into that trap. Steve Carell plays Cal Weaver, who in the opening scenes of the film leaves his wife after listening to her confess about her recent affair with a co-worker. One night at a bar, the suave Jacob Palmer (played by Ryan Gosling, channeling a lot of what Will Smith did in Hitch) overhears his woes and promises to help him turn his life around. There are a lot of surprises in this film so I don’t want to delve further. And though the Carell/Moore storyline is much more interesting than that of their younger counterparts, Love still manages to be a laugh-out-loud film, filled to the brim with moments straight out of a Modern Family arc (one scene near the end of the film, involving nearly every character comes to mind). Fogelman captures a real honesty with the breaking of a marriage here. It is at once painful to watch but hilarious to observe and that is something even the best writers fail to capture. It doesn’t hurt to have the talent the film possesses, but something must be said of the material in the first place. Go see this film while it is still in theaters. Trust me.

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  1. Good Review! Overall, the film is too conventional for my liking. It needed to be sharper, wittier, and funnier. But for average summer fare, it’s okay. It’s far from perfect and runs on the long side, but rom-com and chick flick lovers will likely be satisfied. Check out my review when you can please!

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