13 sept. 2011

My Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (9/10)

¨I`m so mad at you; I`m really mad at you for what you did, but I`m mad at myself too; because I should not have jumped out of that car; I should have fought for you, because you fight for your soul mates.¨

Once every year out of the dozens of formulaic romantic comedies that come our way, one or two manage to stand out above the rest. Crazy, Stupid, Love is one of those films that manages to remain fresh and original, and balance the comedy and romance well enough without relying on the usual rom-com formula. It is one of those films where the chemistry between the actors feels real, and love is actually depicted like it can be in real life. It is one of those movies that manages to surprise us by remaining fresh and never letting us know for sure what direction it is going to take on every turn. You can predict how most romcoms are going to end from the very opening sequence, and even if you might do the same in Crazy, Stupid, Love; you will definitely not expect some of the twists that come your way. It also has the perfect emotional balance that will bring you to tears at some points and laughter at others. The cast is absolutely amazing and everyone does a terrific job. This is Glenn Ficarra and John Requa`s second feature film after last year`s critical success with I Love You Phillip Morris. That film was very risky, and in a way so is Crazy, Stupid, Love because it doesn’t follow the basic formula that other romcoms do. There are several scenes that could have been a total disaster, but really worked because they served as transitions from comedy to romance to drama and so on. The script by Dan Fogelman (Cars, Bolt, and Tangled) is another highlight of the film because the dialogue in this movie was great. The actors were given great characters to work with so every piece seemed to fit in perfectly for this film.

Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have been married for 25 years; they live with their two children: Robbie (Jonah Bobo) and Molly (Joey King) and they seem to be living the perfect life. That is until Emily asks Cal for a divorce because she seems to be going through a sort of mid life crisis. She tells Cal that she slept with another co-worker, David (Kevin Bacon), and that is more than enough to end the marriage. Cal moves out of the house and begins frequenting bars and moping about his miserable life. At the bar Cal meets Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a playboy who always gets the girl due to his charm. Jacob promises Cal that he will help him recover his manhood with a few lessons. The first thing they do is change Cal`s wardrobe, then he teaches him how to pick up girls in the bar, and pretty soon Cal becomes an expert on seducing women. Jacob meets Hannah (Emma Stone) one night in the bar and can`t seem to get his eyes off her. Hannah doesn’t fall for Jacob`s charisma at first, but Jacob will soon discover what being in love is really about. All the characters seem to intertwine with each other at one point or another making the movie all the more hilarious. For example we have Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), the 17 year old babysitter who has a crush on Cal, but at the same time Robbie, his 13 year old son, is in love with Jessica.

It`s these love triangles and confusions that actually prove that love can be crazy and stupid at times, but wonderful at others. There is a great amount of time dedicated to each character, and the focus isn`t solely on Steve Carell and Julianne Moore. There are several more relationships that the movie deals with, but it never loses the main thread. The film balances the romance with the comedy really well, making this a very emotional film. I actually enjoyed this movie quite a bit. The entire cast was just brilliant. I loved the mope performance from Steve Carell, although we`ve seen it before in other films like Dan in Real Life. Julianne Moore is always a talented actress and she brings her game. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are very talented young actors and the chemistry between both of them was really believable. Gosling has to be one of Hollywood`s best modern young actors around. The actors who really surprised me however were the relatively unknown ones: Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo; they share the funniest scenes in the film. Marisa Tomei also has some screen time, and she is great as always. Crazy, Stupid, Love is just a complete film that manages to deliver on all levels. It is my favorite romantic comedy of the year so far, and will probably be on my list of best films of the year. This is a movie you will want to go see.

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