There are always tons of romantic comedies that come out each an every year, and most of them are that great. I usally don’t like most of them, but some come along and suprise you in ways you didn’t expect. So I always still keep my hopes up because you never know when a great one comes out and surprises you (an example of this is (500) Days of Summer). Unfortunately Crazy, Stupid, Love isn’t that one of those. It’s not horrible though; there have been plenty worse than this. Of course on the other hand, better ones have come out too. The opening scene showed great promise (this was just the first 5 minutes or so) , so I was starting to get a little excited. I thought this might actually be a smart romantic comedy (you don’t see many of those). But after that it went downhill very fast. It never crashed, but it did slow down considerably into the chliched trappings of most romantic comidies that few can escape.
Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) has a pretty good life. He has a good job that he loves, he has a mice house, great kids, and he is married to his high school sweetheart Emily (Julianne Moore). But when Cal’s wife unexpectedly tells him she cheated on him and she wants a divorce, his perfect life goes upside down real quick. Cal hasn’t dated in decades, so he just hangs around bars all night telling anyone who will listen about how his wife cheated on him. Then Cal makes friends with Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a player who is going to help Cal get his life back in order. There are also subplots that involve Cal’s two kids, and his babysitter.
I didn’t like the direction this movie chose to take. The director, Dan Fogelman has done four movies. This, Bolt, Cars, and Fred Claus. He should stick to doing animated movies, he is better at that. I loved his two animated films. He understnads how to make those work. In his defense though, his second live action movie is better than his last. I wasn’t a big fan of Fred Claus. As the movie started, it seemed like it was going to be a dark comedy. But things started to get real silly, real fast. That wouldn’t have bothered me if it was done really good, but it wasn’t. That’s a shame, because the little bit of the beginning seemed like it was setting up a great movie. The big downside to all that is also that the drama and comedy didn’t coincide well for me. The story of Cal and his wife could have made a better movie if it were by itself. The subplots that the kids had were not handled well. Every time it went to their story, it took me out of what was happening in the main one. This wasn’t the fault of the actors. Emma Stone, Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo all do just fine. The problem has nothing to do with them. I liked the idea of having this player help out Cal, the only reason it doesn’t work that good here is because of the script.
The script is a jumbled mess. There are a few great funny lines, but the rest never rises above being mediocre. Snappy dialog would have helped keep things interesting, this would have helped a lot. What the script has the hardest time doing is tying all the story line’s in at the end. They don’t do anything clever, they play it safe. They bring all the characters and story lines in this one scene that is neither good nor bad. The characters aren’t even that fleshed out. The only ones that had any dimension were Cal and Emily. I appriacite what the movie wanted to do. It was trying to mix in all these elemtns, subplots along with mixing drama and humor. The script and direction has potential, I hope they perfect what they did here in their future movies.
The performances are good all the way through. Steve Carell isn’t playing a goofy guy here. He doesn’t get a loud role like he usually does, but he does a very good job in this role. Ryan Gosling is great. I wish his character was written better so he could have shinned more though. He was the one characther that made me laigh more than oce or twice. Julianne Moore isn’t on screen all that much, but she makes the best of it. Kevin Bacon is even in this movie for a short while and he is just fine as well. Emma Stone wasn’t needed in this movie. Still, she gives a solid performance. Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo were the weakest link in the cast. They were just alright, they could get annoying at times (but that had more to do with the characters).
I’ve been pretty hard on this movie. I am just disappointed in what could have been a much better movie than it was. Snappy dialog and a more focused story would have made all the difference. There are still some things to like. There are some great scenes in the mix and the acting is good. But at the end everything lacks emotion or any real meaning. Crazy, Stupid, Love is appropriately named. It starts out crazy (save for that little bit that was great), then gets pretty stupid for the most part and at the end there’s not much to love about it. Still, the actors kept pulling me in when the story wouldn’t. If you see this don’t expect anything ground breaking or even that great. It’s an okay rom com and like most, could and should have been better. I was very dissapointed with this so I might have come of a little too negative. I just fooled myslef into thinking this was going to be way better. To top it off, I went in with high expectations. If you rent this you will have a good enough time