365 Movies By Day Reviews of Movies I Watch that I Feel Like Writing About

24Aug/110

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a very good, lighthearted, good summer fun, romantic comedy. I have stated in many of my reviews that I believe 2010 to be the great the greatest year of movie releases in my lifetime. I have also stated this this to be the case despite having that one really, really scary movie or that one really, really funny movie. While 2011 has not come close to measuring up to the 2010 (and based on what I've been seeing/reading about the fall/award season releases), it has had some good movies. In fact, it's had three movies already that I would put in my Top 2o comedies of all-time. I don't think any of these are in that Top 10 range, but Horrible Bosses, The Hangover Part 2, and now Crazy, Stupid, Love. all fall into that second tier. I believe Bridesmaids will probably also fall into this group once I finally see it. In terms of pure comedy, Crazy, Stupid, Love. doesn't have as many laugh until your stomach hurts movies, but I would say that it is the best overall movie in this group. This movie had the potential to be great, but like many very good movies that don't reach that great status, there is a flaw in the screenplay that is very hard to ignore.

Steve Carell is the funniest man in the world in my opinion. I absolutely love his Michael Scott character in The Office and it will be sad not seeing him on that show anymore. Based on what other actors have done in the past, I would have said that leaving The Office was a mistake. But if he keeps putting out movies like Crazy, Stupid. Love. and Date Night, I will say that I was wrong. The Office will continue to be the funniest show on television (ever by the way) and if continue to be treated by pleasures like the movies he has been starring in, then it's a win/win situation. I hope he continues to make movies like this and not go overboard like former number one funny man Will Farrell has. Will Ferrell has. Ferrell starred in so many poorly made movies in such a short period of time that he fell out of fan favor. While Carell will continue to star in duds like Dinner for Schmucks and Get Smart (the first half was funny, then it just got dumb), I hope he will do more movies like Dan in Real Life, Little Miss Sunshine, and Crazy, Stupid, Love.

The plot of Crazy, Stupid, Love. is simple. In the film's opening scene, Emily (Julianne Moore - The Kids Are All Right, A Single Man) tells Cal (Carell) that she has had an affair with a co-worker and wants a divorce.  And so the spiral begins of telling the kids, Cal moving out of the house, falling into a minor little depression (it is a comedy after all), and trying to get on with his life. He spends his nights hanging out at a pickup bar. He enjoys drinking mixed drinks and trying to tell anyone who will listen about his broken marriage. He's completely out of his realm and everyone knows it.

Jacob (Ryan Gosling - Blue Valentine, Half Nelson) is a regular at the bar Cal has been visiting. He's a player who's got his womanizing skills down to an art. He takes a particular interest in Cal and views Cal as a case study. He wants to teach Cal the art of seduction so that he can take a different woman home from the bar every night like Jacob does. The scenes with Cal and Jacob are particularly funny because of how different the people are when they first meet. It definitely seems like an unlikely pair, but as the movie progresses, you can see the two men slowly building a true friendship.

It's a bit unclear how long of a period this movie covers. At certain times, it feels like the movie takes place over something like a two month period. At other times, it seems like the movie might take place over something closer to a year's time. I prefer to think that this movie takes place over a longer period of time. It's hard to see how an even-keeled, goodhearted dad like Cal could change into a smooth talking gigolo in such a short period of time. Similarly, other important characters change traits and habits that have been defined midway through the movie. Sometimes it is difficult to buy into such radical shifts in a character's behavior when there is insufficient evidence to suggest that such a change could occur. That is a problem with the character development with at least two of the main characters.

The other part of this movie that was hard to buy into was Cal not wanting to let go of Emily despite the fact that she has cheated on him. He tries to forget her. He tries to move on, but he's still thinking about her. Maybe two people get to a point in their relationship where they think they can survive anything, despite hurting each other so badly. It doesn't sound like fun and isn't something I could move past. So personally, it was a little hard for me to like Emily or like the fact that Cal still liked Emily. But again, until you are in the situation, you probably aren't sure how you would react.

It's a funny movie with a heartwarming story. Check it out on Netflix or Redbox. If you are in a long term relationship and feel secure with your significant other, watch it with him/her. Otherwise it's a great movie for a first date. It's also a great movie to see with a friend or even alone. Steve Carell fans won't want to miss this one.

Plot 9.5/10
Character Development 9/10
Character Chemistry9.5/10
Acting 9.5/10
Screenplay 8/10
Directing  8.5/10
Cinematography 7/10
Sound 7.5/10
Hook and Reel 9/10
Universal Relevance 10/10
86.5%

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