Directors: Glenn Farcia, John Requa
Stars: Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore
Steve Carrell stars as Carl Weaver, a middle-aged man who learns that his wife (Julianne Moore), wants a divorce after fifteen years of marriage. Shocked and heart-broken, Carl finds himself alone but eager to meet his next match. He starts spending his nights at a local bar wallowing in self-pity, until he meets the self-confessed womaniser, Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who offers to teach Carl how to attract women. What follows, is a crazy chain of events, which inadvertently creates problems for both Carl and his family. Crazy, Stupid Love is a whirlwind of fun.
As a romantic comedy, Crazy, Stupid, Love is one of the most enjoyable and refreshing. Rom-coms have a bit of a divisive reputation, and are often critiqued for their formulaic plots, predictability and contrived characters. However, whilst Glenn Ficarra’s and John Requa’s film is not wholly original, it is quite an interesting take on an overdone genre. It very cleverly opposes certain expectations and cliches of the genre, in a comical and self-aware way. Unlike most romantic comedies, Crazy, Stupid, Love begins fairly slowly and down-beat, evidently reflecting the bad news Carl has received. The fun and laughs really start not only when Jacob takes Carl under his wing, educating him on how to seduce women at bars, but when Jacob gets involved with law student, Hanna (Emma Stone).
When all the gears are set in motion, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a wild and stylish comedy, featuring a phenomenal cast. The latter half of the film is a lot better than the first and once you get past the dreary scenes of Carl drowning his sorrows, the film is a really fun watch. By the end, it certainly lives up to its title and every cast member in the assemble gets their moment in the spotlight. There is one scene in particular which will surely have you in fits of laughter, if you can understand that the film is acutely aware of its ridiculousness.
Crazy, Stupid, Love is a good one to watch with the family. This would not interest or be appropriate for very young children, but it does provide a great level of warmth and feel-good factor. As well as the romantic aspect, the film is very focused on family relationships, so it easy to believe in these characters. Carl’s son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), is a particularly funny character and has a larger role to play in the film than I expected. Also, there is so much chemistry within the whole cast, especially between Gosling and Stone. It is one of those films where the cast look like they had such an enjoyable time making.
Overall: Despite its silly nature and some underdeveloped characters, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a good film. The best thing about it, is its sense of fun and the story’s comical unravelling. With such a talented cast and a heartfelt tale at its centre, Crazy, Stupid, Love is well superior to many romantic comedies we have seen over the years.