After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
David O. Russell
Robert De Niro
Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have the perfect life together living the American dream... until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Make that a lot of help...Written by
Robbie texts "Demi Moore is 15 years older than Ashton Kutcher. They seem happy together." to Jessica while his teaching is giving a discussion about "The Scarlet Letter". Demi Moore starred in a movie adaptation of The Scarlet Letter (1995). See more »
When Cal and Jacob meet at the mall before shopping, the slice of pizza Jacob is holding changes inconsistently between shots. See more »
I'm here to bang the hot guy who hit on me at the bar.
Jacob! Sorry, Jacob...
Do people still say "bang"?
I do. And we're gonna bang!
See more »
It was roughly two-thirds of the way into Crazy, Stupid, Love when I realized how invested the audience in my theater had become. The key scene involved a mom cleaning her daughter's room, a seemingly mundane moment that produced gasps and cries of "Oh no!" even before the character makes a very revealing discovery. It's a scene that, much like the rest of Crazy, Stupid, Love, a heartwarming and, at times, painfully honest depiction of three couples at various stages in each of their relationships, unfolds not with predictability so much as inevitability. Unlike your average, generic romantic-comedy, this movie focuses less on the end, on who will end up with whom, than on the special and often surprising connections that are made along the way. What's more, it achieves the remarkable and all-too-rare feat of actually moving the audience to care about the central characters, to cheer when they come out on top and sympathize when they don't.
Using a witty, compassionate and ever-so-slightly subversive script from Dan Fogelman, directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who are best known for writing the pitch-black comedy/satire Bad Santa and only have one other directorial effort under their belts (last year's I Love You, Philip Morris), guide the production along with subtle ease. They strike an ideal balance between humor and drama, allowing the overall tone to develop organically. Laughs come mostly in chuckles at the cleverness of a line or its delivery and are never awkwardly forced in to lighten up a scene, while the emotions feel genuine without becoming manipulative. Most of all, their restrained approach allows the actors to breathe and to fully embody the characters they've been given.
Speaking of which, has there ever been a more likable group of people assembled for a film, much less a romantic comedy? The cast gels remarkably well, and at no point is anyone singled out as a villain; even when a character threatens to become unlikable, the actor portrays him or her with such keen understanding that it ultimately becomes hard, if not impossible, to not root for each and every one of them. Whenever the film tiptoes the line toward schmaltzy, they pull it back, making every line and emotion feel utterly real. As the unquestionable lead of the film, Steve Carell displays a tenderness and dramatic depth he'd only hinted at in previous works like the unexpectedly moving The 40-Year-Old Virgin and occasional episodes of The Office, while Ryan Gosling, all immaculate grooming, sly grins and twinkling eyes, is perfectly cast as his foil, Jacob, a suave ladies' man who's really using all that money and swagger to disguise the emptiness he feels inside. Julianne Moore and Emma Stone are both lovely as Emily and Hannah, respectively, radiating a down-to-earth presence and relatability that many other Hollywood actresses seem to lack. Also worth noting are Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo, who form Crazy, Stupid, Love's youngest romantic pairing and have been all but ignored by the movie's publicity campaigns despite their obvious talents.
What truly sets Crazy, Stupid, Love apart from other modern-day romantic comedies, aside from the perceptive writing and direction and a dream cast, is that it strives to be meaningful, rather than just mindless, predictable fluff. Though the movie employs its share of clichés (precocious kid, guy falls for the one girl who initially rejected his advances, etc.) , it's often done with a knowing wink, most obviously when, after an altercation with Emily, his ex, and rain begins to pour down on him, Carell's despondent Cal mutters, "What a cliché." It shows that love is messy, irrational, sweet and universal, filled with regrets and tears as well as hope and joy. It celebrates movies like Say Anything or Jerry Maguire where sentimental wasn't a bad word and love meant more than sex, diamond earrings and expensive, candlelit dinners, where those small, precious moments of quiet intimacy – a shared look, a simple but honest conversation, a laugh, a smile, buying a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone, a spontaneous phone call – speak as loudly as the grandest, most dramatic, craziest gestures.
In short, Crazy, Stupid, Love does what the best romantic comedies do: it gives us a glimpse into the raw, human moments that collectively build to bring two people together – or, at times, tear them apart; we fall in love with them just as they fall in – or, out of – love with each other. It's the perfect date movie, and so much more. To all the other ones, the mediocre, cornball, lazy, offensive rom-coms and chick-flicks out there, Ryan Gosling has a message for you: be better than The Gap. Be better than The Gap.
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