Review: Crazy Stupid Love


Directed by: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Written by:Dan Fogelman
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Jonah Bobo, Analeigh Tipton
Released: September 29, 2011
Grade: C+

Love can be complicated.  It’s not an earth-shattering revelation but it’s clearly a point that writer Dan Fogelman is trying to get across with Crazy Stupid Love.  He has taken three separate stories and woven them together with a mix of comedy and drama.

The first couple are Cal (Carell) and Emily (Moore).  They’ve been married for over 25 years but the romance between them has slowly faded away.  It comes to a head when Emily admits to sleeping with another guy from work (Bacon).  Saying virtually nothing in response to the confession, Cal packs his bags and moves into his own apartment.

He tries to get back into the “dating scene” at a nearby bar.  He’s no hope though.  His dress sense is awful and his pick up lines are even worse.  Taking sympathy on him is a smooth young go-getter named Jacob (Gosling) who is the epitome of sophistication.  He can charm practically anyone and his night often ends in bed with a gorgeous woman.  Jacob offers Cal a few tips and yep, they start paying off.

Jacob’s world is soon upturned however when he meets a “game changer”.  Her name is Hannah (Stone) and it leaves him revaluating his own womanising lifestyle.  Is it time to settle down and finally have a meaningful relationship with someone?  It’s a scary thought for a guy who seemingly has all the answers.

The final relationship is the most awkward of all.  Cal’s 13-year-old son, Robbie (Bobo), has developed a huge crush on his 17-year-old babysitter, Jessica (Tipton).  He’s not one to hide his affections either.  Cal proclaims his love to everyone at school and it’s making life for Jessica very uncomfortable.

There are a few more pieces to this puzzle but I won’t reveal them all in this review.  The film’s best scene is near the very end when a few of the above mentioned stories overlap at a backyard get-together.  It’s a fun moment and directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa extract as much humour from it as possible.

As for the rest of the film, well, I didn’t like it.  These characters reflect no people that I’ve ever met.  They’re as crazy and stupid as the title suggests.  Did Cal really need to jump out of a moving car when his wife admitted to having an affair?  Did Cal’s boss really need to make a joke when he heard him crying at work?  Did Jacob really need to stand buck naked in front of Cal while talking to him in the gym?  Don’t even get me started on Marisa Tomei’s character as a hyperactive school teacher in search of a new guy.

Crazy Stupid Love is trying to hard to be a crowd pleaser.  Perhaps my distain for the romantic comedy genre is to blame but significant doses of realism would be required before this tale would earn my appreciation.