Perhaps largely against my will, I’m a big fan of rom-coms. Always finding a positive conclusion, with hopefully enticing characters, even the odd brain-dead chick-flick can be entertaining, even if they require you to leave you intelligence, morals and any sense of high expectation at the door. After great buzz and a couple of nicely put together trailers therefore, I’ve been very excited for Crazy, Stupid, Love, with the hope it’ll turn out to be 2011’s The Kids Are All Right looking promising.
After being told his wife (Moore) cheated on him and wants a divorce, Cal Weaver (Carell) becomes THAT guy at the bar. Lonely, under-dressed, and pretty much the epitome of a loser, he’s quickly seen knocking them back and talking at people with his problems even when people don’t want to hear. It’s a negative energy, however, that’s killing his drinking hole’s buzz, and though his chances with every single girl in the room are still pretty much a home run, Jacob Palmer (Gosling) takes pity on the middle-aged man. Administering a new regime that’ll have Cal looking smart and getting girls’ numbers of his own, even if it won’t make him forget about love Emily, it will at least let him be able to live again.
Fresh, clever and heart-warming, Crazy, Stupid, Love is sweet-natured though an at times darker and more intriguing nature keeps the film from ever feeling predictable. Possessing dialogue that is smart, generally keeping its comedy above the more obvious styles of humour, credit goes to writer Dan Fogelman (Cars, Tangled, Bolt), as his success on this raises anticipation further for next work, My Mother’s Curse, to be directed by Anne Fletcher (Step Up, 27 Dresses, The Proposal).
The Gosling/Carell match-up too worked well, and though the ending feels a little too convenient (or perhaps a little rushed), their plights still manage to draw you in and prove emotional satisfying upon the film’s conclusion. It’s strong bonds throughout that really take Crazy, Stupid, Love above the standard fayre of rom-coms, you feel there’s really love in there, as the various arcs are so effortless and naturalistic, from the quarreling parents, to the playboy in the bar and an awkward son in love with his babysitter; the supporting cast are all very strong and certainly stand up to the impressive leading duo, notably Kevin bacon sees his recent resurgence continue.
This is the sort of rom-com people should be making, coupling an interesting idea with wit, energy and genuine comedy in the script, alongside a compelling narrative and believable character development. After the stellar I Love You Phillip Morris, Crazy, Stupid, Love sees directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra are very quickly building a name for themselves, able to again craft an honest film that, up until the very end, flows naturally and with great confidence.