Crazy, Stupid, Love

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:M
  • Director:Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
  • Cast:Kevin Bacon, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei
  • Release Date:September 29, 2011
  • Distributor:Warner
  • Running time:118 minutes
  • Film Worth:$16.50
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

Tweaking the Hollywood rom-com formula enough to seem fresh, this is smart, funny and heartfelt entertainment boosted by the charm of its terrific cast.

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Having penned the gleefully vulgar Bad Santa and made their directing debut with the outrageous but sweet I Love You Philip Morris, John Requa and Glenn Ficarra have brought their trademark wit and irreverence to the studio system and the result is largely what one would expect. Smart and heartfelt, Crazy, Stupid, Love stands more than a cut above the majority of other comedies that litter cinemas, but it also occasionally falls prey to Hollywood cliché (Requa and Ficarra were working from a script penned by Dan Fogelman best known for his work on children's films including Cars and Tangled). But while the script may adhere to studio formula, it's tweaked just enough that it feels fresh and often very funny, and boosted by a terrific cast, it's sure to register as a deserved crowd-pleaser.

  

Steve Carell plays Cal Weaver who is left reeling when he asks his wife (Julianne Moore) what she wants for desert, and she replies that after twenty-plus years of marriage, she wants a divorce. And what's more, she's slept with her co-worker (Kevin Bacon). Moving out of the home that he's shared with his wife and kids, Cal drowns his sorrows at an upscale singles bar, which is where he meets Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a suave player who takes pity on the mopey and uncool dumpee and vows to help him get laid - the answer to his woes. In the process of making over Cal, Jacob falls for hard-to-get Hannah (Emma Stone). Keeping audiences on their toes, there's also a subplot involving the babysitter (Analeigh Tipton) who has a whopping crush on Cal.

The cast are uniformly terrific. While Carell is a pro at finding the humour and pathos in the everyman, Gosling hits gold with his first real comedic role. Deftly sidestepping caricature, the pair's interplay generates most of the comedy as the young stud turns his charge into a metrosexual, one trip to the mall at a time. The film's other trump card is Gosling and Stone's knockout chemistry, which is wonderfully played out in their all-night "seduction" sequence.

While none of Crazy, Stupid, Love is particularly deep, Requa and Ficarra treat their characters with thoughtfulness and empathy. Their problems haven't solely been scripted for laughs, and the filmmakers let pain, loneliness and regret seep in at the sides. It's a slight disappointment then that the film opts for a couple of soft and sentimental moments, particularly the sappy closing speech - the type that only happens in Hollywood films. But for the most part, this is a winner.

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