Movie Review: CRAZY STUPID LOVE (2011) – A Ridiculously Layered Rom Com
A Clichéd title is usually the killer of good movies. Along with generic and gimmicky hype, a really good movie ends up dying before anyone gets a chance to see it. It’s sad really.
CRAZY STUPID LOVE is a surprisingly good movie. And I don’t mean it’s amazing or awe-inspiring in anyways, but it just takes the typical feel good, endearing romantic comedy, and completely does what EVERY other such movie doesn’t do…
Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars
Amazingly well written. That is what takes CRAZY STUPID LOVE from generic to awesome. A great screenplay coupled with actors who delivered. That’s it!
The film is marketed as the typical generic cool guy teaches loser guy to get his life back together story… thereby conquering all the horribleness in his life, which made him a loser in the first place.
We’ve got Steve Carrell as the guy whose wife cheats on him, and his life completely falls apart. He’s the loser, if you haven’t gotten it by now. Then along comes cool guy Ryan Gosling. Charming, funny and a lady-killer. He takes it upon himself to make over Carrell’s character and does so very successfully. However, obviously Carrell’s character realizes that his transformation into a woman-banging machine still doesn’t make him happy, his wife and old life did. Naturally.
That’s the gist. But what’s refreshing is that the entire movie is so much complicated than that. It’s a completely ensemble cast. What’s even more shocking is that this is not Ryan Gosling’s movie. At all. I did not see that coming. This is a Steve Carrell venture all the way.
The rest of the cast completely backs him up in ways that are just great-ness. Julianne Moore as the conflicted and cheating wife is just amazingly neurotic. That girl from SUPERBAD is pretty good in this one as well as a young professional recovering from a boring relationship who ends up getting getting to the roots of why our womanizer is an unhappy loser himself.
CRAZY STUPID LOVE is nothing groundbreaking, however it’s refreshing as hell to see a romantic(ish) movie that doesn’t promise rainbow and butterflies in the end, but leaves us with a real sense of … reality.
Things don’t get better in a certain time frame in real life. Our problems aren’t wrapped up in a nice little bow, every single time. The only thing that gives us light and hope is how we’re able to deal with it. How we can adapt to the situation and make the better of it.
To portray that type of reality in a movie, which is as light hearted and sweet and funny as CRAZY STUPID LOVE is, is just pure genius. To leave the audience with a sense of hope for all the characters introduced, while still leaving everything open ended, is a stroke of writing brilliance.
However, it’s not perfect. I found pacing to be a huge issue with this film. There are moments where the movie should end, or feels like it is ending… but then so much so much more raises the stakes, and things just become horrible. Even Ryan Goslings story angle in the film, felt neglected. However, that can be forgiven considering the lead characters of the film were Steve Carrell and Julianne Moore and not the young hot couple. Even the sub plot with their son is a charming ass take on adolescent love. This film covers all the aspects of love; from the mature married relationship, to infedility, modern day relationships and the 13 year old’s take on it. Oh shit… I think I just got the title!
CRAZY STUPID LOVE is a must watch for anyone that’s into romantic comedies. It’s also a must watch for anyone who HATES romantic comedies. It’s a film that never panders to the audience. There’s no ridiculous slapstick humor to squeeze out the easy laughs. The gimmick of the hot guy making over the loser, honestly, is over in like the first 20 minutes of the film.
I hate Rom-Coms… however CRAZY STUPID LOVE is more of an endearing tales of realistic love stories and the follies of life.