Crazy, Stupid, Love is a lot like one of the main characters in the film, Robbie, played by Jonah Bobo. It’s trying way too hard to being sweet, cute, funny, and make an impression on you. It’s very needy and wants you to constantly notice how sweet it is. It’s overly cutesy, fake, and wastes its incredible cast, which includes: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Maria Tomei, Kevin Bacon, and Julianne Moore. At the end of the day, the film knows very little about love. The film has the first two parts right. It’s crazy and it’s stupid.
Our film opens up by introducing us to Cal and Emily, played by Steve Carell and Julianne Moore. They are eating dinner together, but it’s clear that their relationship is in the dumps. They don’t communicate at all and appear to be on autopilot. She announces that she wants to get a divorce, which prompts Cal to jump out of a moving vehicle. In the words of his wife, Emily, they stopped being “us.”
Cal moves out, gets a small apartment, and spends most of his nights at bars feeling sorry for himself and drinking the night away. One night, he runs into Jacob, played by Ryan Gosling. He’s a smooth talking that knows to go home with a different girl every single night. He takes poor Cal under his wing and transforms his image from a nerd machine into a sex machine.
His younger son, Robbie, is just about as clueless as his father. He thinks stalking and obsessing over his babysitter will win her over. Maybe he’s never really had anyone to teach him the right way to act around women. It’s clear that his father is no expert in the film. Emma Stone also appears in the film and is pursued heavily by Ryan Gosling’s character Jacob. She wants nothing to do with him, as she can clearly tell what his intentions are from the get go.
Crazy, Stupid, Love had me thinking about a better romantic comedy that is currently out, Friends with Benefits. There are not a lot of authentic or genuine moments in this film. Everything feels like a crazy movie play, such as Carell jumping out of his car, the love struck teenager who loves the older babysitter, and the nerd turned stud muffin angle that we have seen before in countless other movies. This movie borrows and steals from other movies and has nothing original on its own to say. When a major plot twist is revealed in the third act, things get even worse for this film. It all appears manufactured and copied.
The only character here who gets away with his dignity in tact is Ryan Gosling. His character is smart, layered and more than your average movie pimp. Kevin Bacon is wasted in this movie, as this is really a nothing role for him. I love Steve Carell, but between this and Dan in Real Life, his dramas leave a lot to be desired. The first hour of the movie is also horribly paced and leaves you feeling restless and anxious. When things finally do pick up, it’s a little too late, and it takes a complete wrong turn.
Crazy, Stupid, Love is not without its moments of humor and insight, but they are spread out unevenly. If you are looking for a smart, funny, and edgy romantic comedy, check out Friends with Benefits. It’s a lot better than this flick.
How should you see it? Rent it