Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

11 Dec

I’ve been waiting for Crazy Stupid Love to hit DVD for months.  Rom-com is my least favorite movie genre, but every once in a while I find one that I just love.  I expected Crazy Stupid Love to be this year’s Definitely, Maybe (which for some reason I always confuse with Love Actually…which isn’t a bad movie, I just don’t like it nearly as much as Definitely, Maybe).  Unfortunately, Crazy Stupid Love fell flat.

Steve Carell plays Cal Weaver, a frumpy 40something, whose wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), unexpectedly admitted infidelity and demanded divorce.   Cal’s life starts crumbling, and drowns his sorrows in a local bar, where he meets Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a skilled ladies’ man.  Jacob takes Cal under his wing to help him “reclaim his manhood.”  As Cal is learning to attract the ladies, he realizes that Emily is his soulmate and he wants to fight for her.  Simultaneously, Jacob falls for smart and sassy Hannah (Emma Stone) and abandons his ladies’ man ways for love.

The previews made this film look simultaneously sweet and funny.  Unfortunately, all the best bits are in the previews.  Carrell proved in Dan in Real Life that he can do a darn good job of playing “serious” and “sad.”  However, he can only play one kind of “serious” and “sad,” and I felt like I was watching his character from Dan in Real Life all over again.

I run hot and cold with Julianne Moore…I loved her in The Big Lebowski (who didn’t?) and Magnolia and so many other films, but there are a few films like The Kids are All Right and this one, where she’s annoying and petty and I just can’t stand her.  The roles where I don’t like her tend to be roles where her character selfishly destroys her own relationship, expects there to be no fallout, and then is stupidly stunned (and doesn’t even really comprehend it) when her actions actually hurt people.  It’s a problem I have with the character more than the actress, but she keeps picking these kinds of roles, so I can’t help but to connect them.

The biggest upside of this movie: hello Ryan Gosling.  Up until now, I’ve never found him attractive.  Now I get it, yes I do.


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