Crazy, Stupid, Love. Review
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They say that love conquers all…that love is a many-splendored thing. What they don’t tell you, though, is that love tends to make you a little bit crazy—and often more than a little bit stupid. But the tangled new romantic comedy by I Love You Phillip Morris directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa captures the whole messy ordeal in adorably entertaining detail.

It all begins when, over dinner, Emily Weaver (Julianne Moore) tells her husband, Cal (Steve Carell), that she wants a divorce. After nearly 25 years of marriage, their relationship has fallen apart, leading Emily to an affair with her coworker, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon).

Devastated and forlorn, Cal heads to a nearby bar, where he proceeds to drown his sorrows. After days of drunken self-pity, he’s approached by the bar’s resident playboy, Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who decides to teach Cal a little lesson in strength, self-confidence, and picking up chicks.

  
 
Meanwhile, those around them struggle to come to grips with their own relationships—from Cal’s 13-year-old son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), who’s madly in love with his babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who, in turn, is madly in love with Cal, to Hannah (Emma Stone), who’s in a relationship with a safe but boring lawyer (Josh Groban).

Ensemble films like Crazy, Stupid, Love. often have so many characters in so many different storylines that’s it’s difficult to get a feel for any of them. But that’s not the case here. In fact, the characters in Crazy, Stupid, Love. are brimming with even more personality than the average top-billed stars.

Carell makes an instant connection with audiences as the downtrodden middle-aged soon-to-be divorcee, while Gosling gives ladies’ man Jacob a kind of smarmy charm. Though the character is clearly throwing out practiced pick-up lines—and his objectification of women is often mortifying—there’s just something lovable underneath all of that over-confident Marlon Brando bravado. Although Stone gets a shamefully small amount of screen time, she still packs plenty of personality into her adorably insecure character. And even the characters in smaller roles—like Bobo’s lovesick Robbie and Liza Lapira’s hilariously blunt and sarcastic Liz—manage to stand out.

The film’s greatest problem, then, isn’t the characters—it’s their stories. You’ll fall in love with so many of the characters that you’ll want to see more of them. But, with so many intertwined stories woven throughout the film, some seem to barely scratch the surface—like Hannah’s quest for a less PG life or David Lindhagen’s pursuit of Emily. Some characters (and storylines) disappear for long stretches of time, only to pop up again much later. And although everything is tied up surprisingly well in the end, the wrap-up drags on a little longer than necessary.

Really, though, those are small complaints about an otherwise sweet and funny rom-com about the sheer madness of love at any age. And the ensemble cast of vibrant characters makes it a couple of crazy hours well-spent.


Blu-ray Review:
The light-hearted humor and undeniable charm of Crazy, Stupid, Love. come through loud and clear on the film’s Blu-ray release. It isn’t exactly loaded with extras, but the special features menu is still well worth a look.

Extras include Steve and Ryan Walk into a Bar, in which Carell and Gosling discuss the film’s fictional “bar-club,” their characters, their co-stars, and their experiences while working together. The Player Meets His Match, meanwhile, focuses on Gosling and his character—though it gives Emma Stone and her character a little bit of screen time, too. The disc also comes with more than 12 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, including a cute alternate ending and more of Gosling’s hilariously pompous trash-talking.

If you fell in love with the adorable ensemble cast of Crazy, Stupid, Love., don’t pass up the extras. They may not offer a whole lot of insight into the filmmaking process (and it’s missing the ever-present blooper reel), but they do an excellent job of highlighting the hilarious cast members and their adorable characters.

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