Skip to main content

Lovely, Murderously Funny, and Definitely Crazy

Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
Summary: A man’s life falls apart when his wife asks for a divorce.
Spoilers: none

Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone star in Crazy, Stupid, Love, a Comedy-Drama-Romance with a little more to offer than many in its genre.

When “Cal” (Carell) is told by wife “Emily” (Moore) that she wants a divorce, his life begins to unravel. Burying his despair at a local bar, he meets womanizing sex machine, “Jacob” (played very charismatically by Ryan Gosling) who teaches Cal how to get into the singles game of “nailing” women in exploitative, relationship-free one-night-stands.

Meanwhile, Cal’s oldest daughter, “Hannah” (Stone) has a falling-out with lawyer boyfriend “Richard” (Josh Groban) and clicks with an unlikely stranger that dad would not approve of.

With top-notch supporting performances by Marisa Tomei, John Carroll Lynch, and Kevin Bacon, Crazy, Stupid, Love is the kind of movie that puts all its eggs in the basket of being outrageously funny as a film that tries – and succeeds – at being unique in its mold.

With mostly steady pacing and even levels of drama to successfully give it a broad range of emotional impact, the film goes much further than many raunchy rom-coms. The central strength of the movie – and one that sets it apart from dirty, risqué flicks that do nothing but capitalize on easy sex and bargain bin humor – is its focus on the lives of the characters.

It’s all about the people behind their names as Cal’s and Emily’s son, “Robbie” (Jonah Bobo) has a crush on their babysitter, “Jessica” (Analeigh Tipton). One of Cal’s flings is with “Kate” (Tomei) whose insecurities are brought to the surface as she continually runs into men who won’t call her back after sexual encounters. Kevin Bacon is “David,” Emily’s new guy who steals her heart, but whose advances are resisted by her children in an effort to keep the family together.

Though there’s plenty of it to go around, we don’t just get a helping of marginally raunchy content and desperate, sex-crazed behavior. We get to see the toll that bad, impulsive decisions make and the results of the crazy things love makes us do. The film’s insistence that behind every out-of-control sexual impulse is a need for something more is a thing not often found in the dry well of self-serving behavior as portrayed by cheap Hollywood romantic comedies.

While at first feeling like two movies crammed into one, the film smoothes out with a more focused story with some fine messages in its writing, which utilize a story that leaves impressions on the audience exactly as intended—but without setting too high a bar for itself, or becoming the standard to which all other comedies must measure. The film is entertaining, shocking, and certainly funny, and that wraps it up tightly as an all-round success, despite a congested script that could have used some trimming in some places.

3 stars for the cluttered, but convincing (and in some regards, exceptional), Crazy, Stupid, Love.


Grade: B- (3 stars)
Rated: PG-13 (for course sexual content and language)
Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Starring: “Cal” (Steve Carell), “Jacob” (Ryan Gosling), “Emily” (Julianne Moore), “Hannah” (Emma Stone), “Jessica” (Analeigh Tipton), “Robbie” (Jonah Bobo), “Molly” (Joey King), “Kate” (Marisa Tomei), “Claire” (Beth Littleford), “Bernie” (John Carroll Lynch), “David Lindhagen” (Kevin Bacon)
Genre: Comedy / Drama / Romance


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

Movie Review: The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

When free spirit “Jules” (Anna “Go Girls” Hutchison) tells her best friend “Dana” (Kristen “Revolutionary Road” Connolly) what a good time they’ll be having at a cabin in the remote woods, you automatically know and are glad that she has no idea at all what awaits her or her friends, and neither does Jules’ jock boyfriend “Curt” (Chris “Thor” Hemsworth). The same is true of their intellectual friend with his notably piercing gaze, “Holden” (Jesse “Grey’s Anatomy” Williams) and their stoner friend “Marty” (Franz “The Village” Kranz) who seems to have a better grasp of reality, despite himself. Takes all kinds.

After taking off in the RV up the mountain, they stop for gas and run into a weirdly cryptic and confrontational gas station attendant (Tim De Zarn). When they’re back on the road after a near-fight, it isn’t long before they arrive and forget all about it. Following horror movie suit in letting out their whoas about how cool the place is and how much fun they will have losing t…

Movie Review: Django Unchained (2012)

At about 3 hours long, Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s latest mental sickness-inspired adventure of a slave named “Django” (Jamie Foxx) who is freed by a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter, “Dr. King Schultz” (Christoph Waltz) who helps Django rescue his enslaved wife from a cruel plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) in Mississippi.