September 12, 2011

REVIEW: Crazy Stupid Love

Crazy Stupid Love is a romantic comedy with an indie edge to it, giving me hope for the genre. The cast is impressive with Steve Carrell (Cal), Juliana Moore (Emily), Ryan Gosling (Jacob), Emma Stone (Hannah) and newcomer Analeigh Tipton (Jessica) starring. Cal finds himself separated from his wife Emily after 25 years of marriage which puts him in an odd public depression cycle. Making friends with a local Casanova Jacob, he explores his manhood and discovers what he really wants in life.

I found myself overly shocked by how well this movie turned out. Being a vocal critic of the genre, I feel the genre has peeked and most films in the rom-comedy department are now paint by numbers effortless messes. Crazy Stupid Love on the other hand has more of feel of Squid & The Whale mixed with Meet Bill. A good combination as there is enough comedy with a level of a smart wit rather than easy laughs (see every Kate Hudson film) along with solid acting from most involved. The film's music is also a bonus as most tracks are fitting some are too hipster for the type of film this is.

Jacob (Gosling) was easily one of the better characters in the film as he slowly changes his stripes for Hannah (Stone) when she wins his heart. While I did enjoy Stone's brief performance the real female presence of the film is dominated by Analeigh Tipton who plays Jessica (the babysitter and daughter of family friends). Tipton was able to convey a solid performance while surrounded by some comedy/dramatic heavy weights holding her own among them. While Cal is the focus of the film, he isn't the most likable character in the film and you don't really root for either Emily or Cal throughout the film. Juliana Moore and Kevin Bacon are given limited screentime which seemed like a good idea as it felt like both phoned in their performances. While I wouldn't recommend rushing out to see Crazy Stupid Love it is definitely worth checking out when it hits DVD/Blu Ray, VOD or Netflix.


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