Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

“The war between the sexes is over. We won the second women started doing pole dancing for exercise.”

Cast: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore

It’s crazy, stupid and completely underpinned with love.

When Cal’s wife decides she wants a divorce, he begins to realise just what a rut he has gotten himself into. Luckily for Cal though, handsome young womaniser Jacob sees a new project in the shape of this moping mess. He decides to take onboard the task of helping Cal rejuvenate his life and in doing so, hopefully uncovering the funny and charming guy Cal’s wife fell in love with all those years ago.

Now while Crazy Stupid Love has a rather simple story that has been tackled before in many films (lets face it, it’s an easy shot at a romcom), this movie feels new, innovative and genuinely funny.
It might even be the best romcom to appear out of Hollywood in the last few years.

Cal really takes on the form of a pathetic husband. He’s lost interest in romancing his wife and his lack of attention has resulted in her looking elsewhere for some lovin’. Emily still has it. A great job, a hot bod but just no one to appreciate her as a successful woman, probably what led her to her self-diagnosed midlife crisis.

Both Carell and Moore do a fantastic job at portraying this ruined and tired, old married couple. Carell as always is bringing the funny, with Moore not far behind in taking her shot at some comedy, I couldn’t help but laugh at the Twilight remark she makes during an emotional breakdown. The two together feel right, they have superb chemistry and give a convicting performance of a couple who have become lazy around each other. You root for them all the way through which makes it seem like a genuine romance, a key component of romantic films that is sometimes missed or overly forced if the actors aren’t correctly suited.

Gosling is just great. Playing the meddler and getting himself involved in putting Cal back on the map, Gosling and Carell certainly take on this father-son bond that shines as one of the films best relationships. A montage of Jacob getting Cal to walk the walk and talk the talk is one of the films best sequences. Gosling does cheeky, funny and good looking very well.

One of my faves also stars in the film. Emma Stone plays Hannah, a girl who seems to steal the affection of Jacob and make more of an impression on his life than any other girl he has met. Obviously an actress that can garner a few laughs, her comedic timing is spot on in the film and again, the chemistry between her and Gosling is just right.

In a lot of cases, supporting performances fail at making a good impression, or even a lasting one, especially when the leads of a cast are so good. Yet Crazy Stupid Love had it all going on. From Kevin Bacon to Marisa Tomei, John Carroll Lynch, Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo, each performance was memorable, even if it was just a minor role (Bacon), or just a kid (Bobo).

Crazy Stupid Love surprised me. When I sat down to watch this romcom I din’t expect to come away feeling thoroughly entertained. I expected what you normally would from a Hollywood love story, cheap lines and shallow relationships. Genuinely funny and charming, this might just be the romcom of the last 10 years.

Star rating:  8/10

Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

Running time 118 minutes.

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