REVIEW: Crazy, Stupid, Love.

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First off, I’d just like to say to anyone releasing a romantic comedy in July of 2011, pointing out how cliche your scenes are does not make them somehow better. It just makes you look lazy. You know you’re being cliche and you don’t care.

Having said that, I definitely found Crazy, Stupid, Love. to be an entertaining mix of awkward comedy and drama with a few really big laughs. Sure there are plenty of moments that rely too strongly on coincidence or were completely unrealistic, but I thought it was a decent film over all.

Steve Carell plays his patented awkward but likable loser character. Carell stars as Cal, a middle aged man married to his high school sweet heart. His entire life falls apart when his wife, Emily, has an affair with Kevin Bacon (who knew women would still want to have an affair with Kevin Bacon in 2011?). While sulking loudly at a bar Cal meets Ryan Gosling’s Jacob, a womanizing single guy who takes Cal under his wing and helps him rediscover his manhood. Emma Stone plays a PG-13 young law student who is dating the perfectly cast and utterly boring Josh Groban (seriously, why is he famous?).

Oscar winner Marisa Tomei plays a small role in the film, but steals most of her scenes. The young Jonah Bobo’s performance is sure to make Fez proud. The highlight of the film to me was the unexpected twist that kicks off the third act.

Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are probably best known for writing Bad Santa. I’d say they were best known for directing I Love You Philip Morris but considering how long that film sat on the shelf and how few people saw it, there’s no way it’s true. It’s always weird to me when a film has multiple directors, but it didn’t really seem to hurt this movie.

I’m not trying to argue that Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a great film. At best, I’m tempted to say that it works as a decent date night film. But I think that maybe it’s a movie that people bring their own background baggage to and which might affect how they view it. I found it to be unapologetically optimistic and sappy, while the person next to me found it completely depressing. I think that it speaks to the strengths of the film that it can elicit such varied responses.

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