Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love

Emma Stone and Liza Lapira in Crazy Stupid Love

I’m going to help you rediscover your manhood. Do you have any idea where you could have lost it?

Just in time for Valentine’s Day Crazy, Stupid, Love aims to sweep you on off your feet and whisper sweet messages about love, soul mates and masturbation.

It searches for love in every nook and cranny, though it’s not looking for answers but poking its head, observing and then bouncing off to the next storyline. It has at least four of them and with some difficulty manages to incorporate them into one satisfying whole.

It kicks off when Julianne Moore’s Emily asks husband Cal (Steve Carell) for a divorce over a romantic dinner. Storyline number two centres around Ryan Gosling’s womanising Jacob who sees Cal drowning his sorrows and takes it upon himself to reinvigorate him. Storyline number three is about Jacob and Emma Stone’s Hannah, who ‘s told her romantic life is like a PG-13 film and urged to find someone a little dangerous. Storyline number four (wipes brow) revolves around Cal’s son Robbie (Jonah Bobo), a soppy kid who believes in soulmates and is infatuated with his babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) who in also has a crush on Cal.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a good example of ‘busy filmmaking’, flooding its narrative with stars and letting the charm, sincerity and cheesiness roll off the screen. It’s not to the level of Gary Marshall’s concoction of awful that was Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve, but screenwriter Dan Fogelman hasn’t come up with an adequate solution of juggling the story’s multiple threads. Some characters provide comedic relief, others annoy and some are just paper thin.

That said directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Philip Morris) keep it light and cheerful, drawing a great deal of chemistry from the cast. Bursting at the seams, the Fogelman’s script is an interesting look at love through the eyes of each generation. Cal and Emily’s relationship has lost its spark after seventeen years. Hannah and Jacob’s storyline is like alchemy, changing the very essence of their nature. Robbie and Jessica’s is about young love and infatuations that aren’t reciprocated. Surprises are in short supply but the actors generate a lot of goodwill.

The lasting impression of Crazy, Stupid, Love is that it has too much on its plate. Kevin Bacon’s David Lindhagen, John Carroll Lynch’s Bernie and Marisa Tomei’s pedantic Kate are on the periphery. I haven’t even begun on the ending; an artery clogging platform for a soppy speech that drags on and on.

So while Crazy, Stupid, Love is bloated, it entertains; where the script has too many characters, the actors rescue it with their charm. Enjoyable fluff.



Posted on 14/02/2012, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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