Friday, December 9, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

Crazy, Stupid, Love. - 4 out of 5

No better descriptive words have been used to describe exactly what love is than the title of this film.

So, my hero; Steve Carrell, stars as Cal Weaver.  His wife, Emily (played by Julianne Moore), decides she wants a divorce after she's already been in an extramarital affair with David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon).  After having his self-confidence completely obliterated as his soul-mate--the woman he fell in love with when he was 15 years old and has never been with another woman--wants to move on, he seeks advice from the bottom of a bottle but ends up meeting a ladies man named Jacob Palmer (played by The Notebook's Ryan Gosling).  Jacob shows Cal how to woo the ladies and scam them into going home with him and Cal ends up on a bender of wild sex with random chicks.  After Jacob releases his monster on the bar scene, he meets up with a failed hook-up (played by Emma Stone) and ends falling in love and going the exact opposite direction he's been heading for most of his life.  Now, back to Cal, his troubles aren't over as it turns out his babysitter is in love with him and is on a mission to try and get his attention...all the while Cal's son is in love with the babysitter.  All of this craziness that comes from stupid love comes to a head as all these stories come together in a meaningful and very plot spoiling way--so I won't tell you about that point.

Steve Carrell is one of my favorite actors.  He's my hero.  Seriously, I want the man's life.

Since Carrell was in this film, it was a guarantee that I was going to watch this one but with a title like Crazy, Stupid, Love. the chances of me saying, "hey, this was really good" were pretty slim.  Even the fact it is qualified as a romantic comedy leads me down the skeptic path--HOWEVER, I must say, this film was great.  At no point does the romance overtake the comedy and the comedy never overtakes the romance.  It's actually perfectly balanced.  You'll laugh at the jokes, you'll smile (and not go into a diabetic coma) over the sweet scenes and you may even find some tears welling up as you see real chemistry and emotion in Moore and Carrell's acting as it's clear their characters are still in love but try to come to terms with the possibility that there may be no more going back to the way it was.

It's become a requirement for 2011 that Kevin Bacon be in 65% of the films coming out.

The only real problems that are generated with the film come in the character of Ryan Gosling and the story itself.  While the story is fun, sweet and a real pleasure to watch, the first and second act can come off hectic as you are really unsure as to what most of the characters have in common.  Emma Stone's character feels thrown in and Gosling becomes a dangling thread once Carrell learns how to be a ladies man.  The story starts to make you feel like you are being tossed around from character to character until the big significant thing happens (you know, the one thing I said I wouldn't tell you about) and then you go, "Ahhhh, that's clever.  Well played movie!"  So, at times the writing can feel a little wild but it pays off in the end.  So, in reality, this isn't actually that big of a problem.  It's kind of like the first time I watched The Matrix.  When I first saw it, I was saying, "What the eff, movie?  What's going on?"  But once I knew what was happening, I was saying, "Ahhh yeah. This movie is like sex...only I'm actually having it!"  Crazy, Stupid, Love. is the romantic comedy equivalent of that least for me.

Jacob Palmer proves that women love and run on douche bags.  Thank you, work of fiction, you've proven my thesis correct.

This is why I no longer go to the gym...also why I'm no longer
allowed at the gym.
Finally, there's the character of Jacob Palmer.  Now, Gosling plays the character great but Palmer is a...well, a douche bag.  He plays women, uses them and moves on.  Basically, the kind of guy women can't seem to get enough of and the kind of guy that I hate and makes me embarrassed of my gender.  While Gosling offers up some great laughs as he is able to hold his own with funnyman Carrell, my own personal feelings for people like the character of Jacob Palmer kept me from fully being able to appreciate what Gosling was bringing to the role because every time I saw his orange, fake tan face in his overpriced suit and greased up hair do, I kept grimacing and saying, "it's guys like this character that makes women only talk to me when they want to make the claim there is no good guys out there."  But, I guess, the fact he so perfectly played this character only goes to show what a talented dude Gosling is.  And now, I can officially add another film that stars Gosling to my list of movies that I enjoy with Ryan Gosling in it.  Until now, The Notebook has been the only film on that list.  That's right, I like The Notebook and I'm not ashamed to admit that the ending drove me to tears.  Okay, maybe I am ashamed to admit that because I just admitted to it on the internet for the entire world to see.  Good thing no one reads my blog!

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a great mix of emotions that comes with the hazard of letting someone into your heart.  Every actor involved (even ones I didn't mention like the incredibly sexy Marisa Tomei, who is awesome in this one and very memorable) carry their weight fantastically and keep the film going to new levels as they are all able to be funny and human at the same time.  The characters and story terrifically show how loving and losing someone can make you go absolutely insane and, in the case of this movie, make you laugh along the way.

Lesson is:  Love will cause physical violence.  At least, I think that's the moral of this story.

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