Crazy Stupid Love: Funny, Sexy, Real

Movies — By on August 21, 2011 at 6:39 am

Kevin Bacon(L), Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, star in Crazy Stupid Love.

By Elli

The cast of this film makes the movie an epic success. Steve Carell has the uncanny ability to make you love even the worst of movies. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was charming, comical, and highly entertaining, but throw Steve into a movie? Laughs are cheap. Toss the extremely unattractive and overall-lackluster-by-nature Ryan Gosling into the mix (I’m joking, people)? Every woman will become your flick’s bff. Why not tie in Kevin Bacon and Julianne Moore to cash in on the older audiences and appeal to their taste? Done and done. Oh, and Emma Stone? She doesn’t get much cuter than this. To me, Emma Stone is the staple of real American beauty with a classic personality that sparkles. Stone as a person and actress screams authentic, and I think the audience senses that. If she can make a movie called Easy A (a teen comedy film about The Scarlet Letter), not only bearable but [embarrassingly] enjoyable, she might just have what it takes to stick around.

Surprisingly, this well-made romantic comedy failed to play the typical chick flick’s role of turning me into love’s blind optimist. Yes, it might have perpetuated my ongoing unrealistic hope that a Gosling lookalike will sniff out my mediocrity in a bar next to 100 plus Victoria Secret models. Stop judging. A girl can dream! But really, thank you directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa for positioning this thing we call “love” under harsh, bright like and depicting this inexplicable phenomenon exactly how it can be- stupid and crazy.

Let’s sum up the story in the most effective nut shell EVER. Emily (Moore) asks for a divorce from her husband Cal (Carell) because she’s been cheating on him with Ren from Footloose. What?!? No, she cheats on him with her co-worker David Lindhagen (Bacon). Cal is devastated and moves out of the house, gets his own place, and sees the kids regularly. Cal frequents the local bar where up until he met Jacob Palmer (Ryan Hotling), he had been moping around drinking cranberry cocktails out of a straw, paying for his drinks with money out of a Velcro wallet, stumbling home in a heinous pair of outdated New Balance sneakers, dressed like a frat boy from the frat actually paying and PRAYING that young men will join. The skillful contrast between Cal and Gosling’s dress and demeanor is hilarious. From start to end, the interaction between these two will have you rolling on the floor laughing (or sobbing because in real life, Carell is hitched and finding anyone nearly as charming as Gosling is an impossibility).

Needless to say, the fashionable and womanizing Jacob Palmer whips Cal into shape, spiffs him up, dresses him to the nines, and teaches him the tricks of the modern dating scene. So Cal takes the womanizer bike for a ride, gets the sulking out of his system, but cannot seem to kick his love for Emily. Meanwhile, Lindhagen (Bacon) tries to swoop Emily off of her feet with much resistance on her end. As you can imagine, Cal still has her heart in the palm of his hand while in the other he’s crushing the heart of his son’s alcoholic 8th grade teacher with whom he had his first one night stand (Marisa Tomei). Big mistake, Cal. Huge! Hilarious? Duh. Let’s throw one more wrench in the gears. The plot thickens as Jacob ends up falling love with Cal’s first born Hannah (Stone), who isn’t introduced to the audience as their daughter until the climax of the movie.

It doesn’t take a soothsayer to tell you that Cal didn’t approve of Jacob the Womanizer dating his daughter. Jacob fights for his approval which more or less ended in Jacob expressing that he was taking the wrong approach to life, happiness and women. It turns out that he valued Cal’s genuine qualities over the superficial traits he was pushing the whole time. If you agree to watch a romantic comedy, don’t act like predictable endings and character clichés are a shocker. They’re expected and accepted. I don’t judge.

Along with Emily and Cal’s struggle with their marriage, I enjoyed the inclusion of their precocious son who is in love with their quirky babysitter, who coincidentally lusts after Cal. Throughout the movie, they show that love transcends age and maturity, and that no soul mate is worth giving up on. The difference lies in the way we view love over time and how the definition of the word evolves as we mature. Throughout the movie, we have no doubt that Emily and Cal are still in love. At the end, we don’t know whether or not they will get back together, but as they’re laughing at the ridiculous nature of the whole debacle, you see every character’s realization of how truly crazy and stupid love is- in a good way.

About the author: Elli is an avid skier and tennis player who enjoys writing in her spare time for


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