Saturday, August 6, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love is a Good Escape from Summer Explosions

Crazy, Stupid, Love (3 out of 5 stars)
Directed by: Glenn Ficarra & John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris), 
Written by: Dan Fogelman (Cars, Bolt, Tangled)
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone

The film starts with Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) out to dinner, and her pronouncement that she he wants Creme Brulet while she wants a divorce and she cheated on him.  Carell agrees to divorce and heads to a bar in his New Balance sneakers and clothes that don't fit.  While at the bar Jacob a regular at the bar and playboy notices Cal and decides that he wants to take him on as a project.  Jacob also meets Hannah (Emma Stone) at the bar and they have their own romantic story.  Like within most romantic dramadies there are moments that cliche (which the film points out cleverly in the screenplay) and moments that come unexpectedly.

This film did a great job of making me think a little deeper about love, understanding relationships, and the role maturity plays in decision making.  There are good moments that are incredibly funny as well.  The highlight of this film is Ryan Gosling; he is charming, funny, and continues to prove what a terrific actor he has grown into.  The ensemble is well used.  Carell, Moore, and Stone were great as usual.  The actor who plays Carell and Moore's son Robbie is younger actor to watch for. Some of characters were not fleshed out enough.  Kevin Bacon and Marissa Tomei's  characters were  plot devices that were not fully developed enough to be useful.  The film ran a bit long towards the end and felt like a merry-go-round, and the screenplay could have been trimmed.  

The film was solid, and I got down on my knees thanking the movies Gods that there was a solid film that involved no explosions to go to during the summer months.  I love and hate the sumer months because I feel people skip quality films like this where there isn't a robot that transforms, an adventure on the high seas, an action hero of some form, or that isn't a pointless sequel.  This is not the best movie of the year, but it has quality, and is somewhat original.  I am tired of the sequels they drive crazy and make me feel stupid, unlike this film

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