Friday 7 October 2011

Today's Review: Crazy, Stupid Love

Another free cinema ticket this week, but not so much flexibility on times to go. Having heard nothing about this movie I didn't quite know what to expect, but hey, why not? It's free.

Crazy, Stupid Love opens with Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) and his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) having a regular dinner date as a regular married couple. Until Emily lets slip that she wants a divorce, that is. Gingerly accepting his fate, Cal moves away from the family home and starts to have lonely drinks at a bar. After several nights of lamenting to himself, a man who is always a hit with the ladies, Jacob (Ryan Gosling) offers to help him spruce himself up and start to move on to other women, and plenty of them. So begins Cal's rejuvenation, but while he pulls himself out of his slump he also has to deal with his son (Jonah Bobo), who has fallen in love with his babysitter.

It may seem like a standard romantic comedy plot, but there's a lot more to it. As the story progresses the characters' feelings start to change, and the whole dynamic is often shifted without warning. Where this movie really succeeds is with the ensemble cast. While the movie seems to focus on Cal a lot towards the beginning, we begin to spend a lot of time with the other characters, which allows for some real character development, especially in the form of Gosling's ladies man. Every character has their ups and downs, and while most romantic comedies have a clear good vs. evil role in the form of relationships, everyone in Crazy, Stupid Love tends to make both good and bad decisions, and the developments throughout do a really good job of helping you change your perspective of someone who you were sure was a bad person.

Everyone in the cast plays their parts fantastically. Carell is as awesome as always, and and the other main leads pull in great performances. But even the smaller parts are wonderfully performed. Bobo, who I've never seen in a movie before, was often hilarious, and smaller parts from Analeigh Tipton and Marisa Tomei really added a hysterical edge.

Crazy, Stupid Love was a very surprising movie for me. Though it did start to drag a little near the end, the twists and turns of the characters proved entertaining enough, especially at the point where the storylines all intersect near the end. While there are several laugh out loud moments, there are also some heartwarming ones, and the way the characters' behaviours and beliefs change keeps this movie fresh and different from any others I've seen recently. Hey, I might even pay to watch it again.

My rating: 5/5

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