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Crazy, Stupid, Love.
BLU-RAY disk
Nov 6, 2011 By: Jason Adams
Crazy, Stupid, Love. order
Director:
Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

Actors:
Steve Carell
Ryan Gosling
Emma Stone

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A look at how love can affect us all in different ways: Cal is still in love with his wife Emily, even though she is divorcing him. Their son Robbie is in love with his babysitter Jessica, who's in love with Cal, who is newly single and rediscovering his mojo thanks to local lothario Jacob, who also finds himself in love for the first time.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. other than the typical rom-com shenanigans, but was surprised that it actually tried something a bit different. The film looks at love from all angles—mature marriages, unrequited puppy love, reckless young lust—and each story is different and offers its own insights. But what actually impresses about the film is that all the characters feel surprisingly real and honest. Despite their flaws, no one is made out to be the bad guy here, even the cheating wife who initiates the divorce, and people in the movie react like normal human beings (most of the time), which is kind of refreshing.

I'm not saying that the characters or their situations are not idealized in the cinematic sense, but CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. actively avoids falling prey to the genre's clichés. Even when it comes close, like when characters sulk alone in the rain at key emotional moments, or why nobody ever seems to be at work, the movie calls itself out. In fact, the big emotional speech you expect to come at the end of the film, the one that sums up all the lessons learned and wins back the girl, happens midway through and not in the way you expect it to play out. Even if the film's ultimate message seems to be a stalker's wet dream ("Never give up if he/she is your soulmate!"), it 's at least well-meaning.

A lot of the likability and honesty comes at the hands of the cast. I may be the one person besides Steve Carell's mom that liked DAN IN REAL LIFE, but he brings a lot of the same successful dramatic and comedic chops to his role here. The "clueless nice guy lightly suffering through life" is not a new schtick for the actor, but he does it well enough that I haven't grown tired of it. (And the parts where he's learning to pick up women recall 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, which is never a bad thing.) Ryan Gosling is the other stand out here. The chemistry and dynamic between he and Carell is fantastic, and the young actor proves he has the sickening talent for comedy as much as he did action with DRIVE. Julianne Moore and Emma Stone are both adept to the material but don't have a whole lot of room to stretch, aside from being redheads and the object of the two gentlemen's affections. Apart from Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei, who have small but memorable roles, Jonah Bobo who plays Carell's son also shows a lot of promise as the love struck kid with a crush on his babysitter.

The pacing is a bit slow in the overall scheme of things, with the relationship between Gosling and Stone feeling a bit too rushed and easy, while the transition between the two main love story plots is also awkward (though there’s a reason for that). However, there's a scene that takes place in Carell's backyard at the beginning of the third act that's incredibly memorable aside from a surprising reveal. It's one of those classic screwball "everything that can go wrong, will" moments but cranked up to 11. It's well-planned and well-executed thanks to the script by BAD SANTA's Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and is probably the best part of the entire movie. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter the movie kind of betrays itself and goes for the sugary sweet ending, but even so CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. had built up enough goodwill that I still recommend it.
THE EXTRAS
A few typical fluff pieces are thrown your way.

Steve and Ryan Walk in to a Bar (6:40): A candid behind the scenes chat with Carrell and Gosling inside the fictional bar that covers all the womanizing scenes, the characters, dating advice and more. Nothing earth shattering, but it's loose and light.

The Player Meets His Match (5:40): Some basic EPK interviews with the main cast talking about the characters.

Deleted Scenes (12:27): You get more with Emma Stone’s Asian friend, Carrell before he moves on with his life, product placement for Lowes, an alternate ending and more. Aside from some extra moments of Gosling riffing, pretty much none of these are worth having in the movie.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Call me crazy, but CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. is surprisingly worth your time as a romantic comedy, offering up a great cast, some smart writing likable characters. It can't sustain everything for the entire running time, but enough to suggest at least a rental.

Extra Tidbit: Microsoft Word really hates the punctuation in the title.
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