CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE. (2011)
Running Time: 118 mins. Rating: 4 Stars/5 Stars
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Cast: Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marissa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, John Carroll Lynch, Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, Joey King, Beth Littleford, Liza Lapira, Josh Groban, Mekia Cox, Julianna Guill
The movie opens with Emily (Julianne Moore) telling her husband Cal (Steve Carrell) she wants a divorce over dinner. After being (happily) married for over 25 years, Cal is literally in shock and on the drive home rolls out of the car when he hears that she slept with another man.
Cal is so agonizingly pathetic sitting at the bar that Jacob (Ryan Gosling) feels the need to take him under his wing and show him the rules of the game. Jacob is always naked or in slow motion, further exaggerating his smooth sex appeal. These two have amazing chemistry together. Cal confides in Jacob telling him he’s only slept with one woman. He called his wife “the perfect combination of sexy and cute” and Jacob uses it as a pick-up line the next night. Awed by Jacob’s ability to objectify women, Cal lets Jacob (literally) slap him into shape.
Relating his teaching to the wax-on-wax-off from KARATE KID (monkey see, monkey do), Jacob teaches Cal all his tricks. Of course, it doesn’t work for Cal. He makes a complete fool of himself when he’s finally alone with a woman. Realizing that Jacob’s tricks are not working for him he nervously reveals his situation with his wife and from this burst of honesty he takes her home.
“Let me buy you a drink” is Jacob’s foundation. These rules are so conventional it’s hilarious that they still work on women as often as they do. However, it doesn’t work so easily with Hannah (Emma Stone) who looks at Jacob with wide eyes wondering if these pick-up lines even work. She replies with “How old are you?” After all, who just walks up to a woman and offers to buy her a drink? Does that even happen anymore?
Things slow down as we patiently watch Cal and Emily try to patch things up. They resemble a typical married couple in their forties: awkward, angry and frustrated. The tension between the two is painfully uninteresting and their only magical moment occurs when they’re engaged in a phone conversation. Emily just called for an excuse to speak with him and asks for some help on a random household issue. Cal is watching her while hiding in the backyard. This gives him some hope to persevere.
When Hannah is fed up with her PG-13 relationship, she goes for ‘the hot guy at the bar’ aka Jacob. Her incredibly innocent and naive personality sets Jacob off his game. They end up talking all night long until Jacob passes out. We don’t get to see much more development on this couple. Jacob falls off the earth and Cal consults his son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) for advice on ‘fighting for your soulmate.’
The film progressively gets crazier (and stupider) toward the end. There are love triangles, misunderstandings, naked pictures and a big fight. Although all these complicated scenarios gave an honest portray of adult relationships, the happy ending ruined its authenticity. Fighting for what you consider your soulmate is a childish concept of love, accurately performed by Robbie, a thirteen-year-old in love with his babysitter. But it shouldn’t be the one thing we walk out of the theatre thinking, “Yeah, this is possible.”
If you like this recommendations: Bridesmaids, Date Night, Hitch