#240 / 365 – ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ – 118 mins
Cinema Challenge #97 / 115
Fed up with her marriage and kids, Emily Weaver (Julianne Moore) has a fling with work colleague David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon) and demands a divorce from hubby Cal (Steve Carell). For forty-something Cal, who thought he had the perfect life, this proves devastating. Unexpectedly single for the first time in decades, our dorky hero doesn’t stand a chance in today’s ultra-competitive love market. Until, that is, super-player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) takes pity on the poor schlub and gives him some serious mentoring. Before long, Cal’s got a cool haircut, a sharp suit and a new line in patter.
Along With it being consistently sharp in its plotting where the dialogue is smart and sassy, Crazy, Stupid, Love also offers a splendid ensemble cast and no-one stands out above anyone else. Everyone is ideally cast thanks to Glenn Ficarra & John Requa who both gave us the marvellous – ‘I Love You Phillip Morris’ – 2009. Steve Carell is a comedy goldmine of playing the straight man. He offers as Cal a fun chemistry with Ryan Gosling’s standout performance as the overconfident, suave and cocky Jacob. Emily, is well served by Julianne Moore. Equally good are supporting players Emma Stone and Kevin Bacon if underused. Crazy, Stupid, Love tops off its brilliantly casting with a hilarious turn by Marisa Tomei as an eager lover who catches Cal’s eye and it’s easily Tomei’s best comedic role since ‘My Cousin Vinny’.
Crazy, Stupid, Love emits great style within its contemporary setting, whilst offering plenty of pop culture references that are both uncontrived and funny – check the Dirty Dancing scene. At times the film does get a little crowded by its three-tier storyline, but overall Crazy, Stupid, Love is a warm delight, that does a fantastic job of balancing the honest and sincere laughs with sensitive drama.