Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011) Poster

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Bittersweet, emotionally uplifting and distinctly hilarious
DonFishies16 July 2011
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is one of, if not the best, American romantic comedies of the past decade. This may come as a shock to some (as it surely took me aback) but there is no other way to describe it. Going into an advanced screening of the film earlier this week, I had my doubts that it would be anything outside of generic. But instead of tripe, I got one of the most unexpected surprises I have seen all year.

Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have hit a rough patch in their long-time marriage, and Emily inadvertently announces to an entire restaurant that she wants a divorce. Down and depressed, Cal starts drinking away his sorrows at a local bar, attempting to make sense of his predicament with anyone who will listen. Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a professional bachelor, takes notice and makes it his personal mission to help Cal get over his wife, and become a new man in the process.

But this is just the main plot thread of the movie. It also follows Jacob's relationship with the absolutely stunning Hannah (Emma Stone), throws in a bit of curveball with Emily being romanced by David (Kevin Bacon), and even has a bit of a focus on Cal's son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) pining over his older babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). It may sound a little packed with threads and too many characters, but Crazy, Stupid, Love. is able to navigate between each character and couple with ease. It reminded me a lot of Valentine's Day, and how its main goal was to depict how different love is for a sizable amount of couples and singletons. Except it failed miserably at it, and stood out more as an example of every rom-com stereotype you could imagine. Thankfully, Crazy, Stupid, Love. takes the higher road and breathes new life into a stale genre.

While the impeccable cast is more than enough reason why the film succeeds so well in being an atypical film in the genre, it is the crew behind-the-scenes that surprises even more. The film is written by Dan Fogelman, who is best known for a string of Disney films and the atrocious Fred Claus, and is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who wrote and directed the sadly little seen I Love You Phillip Morris and wrote the now classic Bad Santa. These three would not be the first group on men I would turn to for a film like this, but their relative lack of expertise helps propel the film to the heights it reaches. It takes darkly hilarious turns in certain instances, plays other sequences totally unconventionally, play even more out with a foreboding sense of drama the trailer merely hints at, and trumps more than its share of genre stereotypes. Weaving between the plots lines, they make the film feel unique and different from others, all while giving it an aura of authenticity. While they stumble a bit in the final act with a series of sitcom-like shockers that border on ludicrous, they manage to pull off the rare feat of actually making the audience wonder if these characters will all end up together in the end, or if they will walk their separate ways; something that is truly uncommon for this genre.

Acting wise, the film delivers in spades. Carell gives one of his best performances to date as Cal, moving as swiftly as the script requires between depression and humiliation, and touching and hilarious. The film stretches his dramatic muscle more than most, and allows him to give a performance that does not rely on laughs. The expressions on his face are just devastating in some sequences, and the wonder in other scenes is ridiculously hilarious. It is a performance I hope to see him come back to again, and make even better. Gosling plays against type, and gives an absolutely hysterical performance. He shines brightly in every scene, nailing every line and mannerism, while making this scumbag of a lothario become someone to really care about. He exudes chemistry and helps make everyone else's performance better. Moore and Stone also give great performances, easily balancing the humour with the drama. They are not given nearly as much to do as the guys, but hold their own on- screen.

The supporting cast does even better. Bobo is phenomenal in his role, conveying an innocence and naivety that is more mature than I thought possible. He acts like more of an adult than some of the older cast does in many instances, and gives the performance a well-rounded other young actors would be incapable of. Tipton is not nearly as good, but plays the role of a confused teenager a little better than you would imagine. Bacon does great in a small turn as does Liza Lapira as Hannah's best friend. But it is Marisa Tomei who steals the show from everyone, playing one of Cal's conquests. She is dementedly unhinged and ridiculously over-the-top, but never falters. Her performance may be one-note, but it is easily the most memorable thing about the film.

If I hold anything against the film (other than the final act stumble and the oh-so convenient way one particular scene comes together), it is that it ended. I know I have harped on how unlike other typical romantic comedies Crazy, Stupid, Love. is, but there is really no other way I can rave about it. I easily could have spent more time with these characters, and pined to find out what happened to each of them after the final fade out. The incredibly unlikely pair of Ficarra and Requa has crafted a truly wonderful and hilarious film that is nothing like what you could have expected watching the trailer. It is bittersweet, and easily one of my favourite movies of the summer. And this is coming from someone who loathes almost every single romantic comedy ever conceived.

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I enjoyed everything about this movie.
IronBallsM4 August 2011
My initial reaction is that this film is the best romantic comedy that I've seen in years. The genre has been pretty devoid of quality lately. So, I don't know if that plays a part or not and I really don't care at this point. I enjoyed everything about this movie. It has tremendous heart and charisma and it's so very easy to get caught up in to the lives of these characters. A certain degree of patience is required while viewing because some secondary characters that feel unnecessary to the story are worth getting to know. Steve Carell's character is the one everyone empathizes with and when the movie shifts away from the "A" story you wonder why and start to think that the "B" story is going to be muddled or cliché or one to endure. Well, they're not and everything comes together in a wonderful fashion. The entire cast here is perfection. The overall message may be one to debate but it doesn't matter because the ride and this film are just so smart and so well done.
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It works
nicki911230 July 2011
You know usually I'm not into romantic comedies, as I find that most of them fall short & are extremely cheesy. I really liked this movie though. One of the great things about it, is the acting is great. Everyone plays their part perfectly and you actually kind of feel for them in their individual situations. Usually when I think of Steve Carell, I think of a jokester. He was great in his serious scenes though, very believable. And Ryan Gosling, Oh my goodness, Ryan Gosling. He has always been one of my favorite actors. He plays a ladies man in this movie, trying to get Carell back on his feet after splitting with his wife. The two of them have great chemistry together and provide plenty of laughs, along with touching moments. I just saw this movie yesterday and I already want to see it again. That almost never happens that I want to see a movie again right away. Very cute. This movie has a little bit of everything and I think that most people would enjoy it. 9/10!
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Crazy, Stupid, Love is a real crowd-pleaser
Reel_starz4 August 2011
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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Pleasantly surprised, a great movie overall!
taleeya26 July 2011
I saw this expecting an amusing, albeit predictable, movie. Boy was I pleasantly surprised!

Steve Carell plays a man, Cal, blindsided by his wife's sudden request for a divorce. While wallowing in self pity at the local bar, Jacob (Ryan Gossling) decides to turn him into a project, and introduce him to the wonderful world of womanizing.....But you've seen that from the previews right? What comes next is a great look at love, from first crushes to long term marriage.

This movie is the perfect blend of funny and sweet (the entire theatre was laughing throughout). Great performances from the whole cast, including a surprisingly refreshing change for Steve Carell. The writing was perfect, the pacing was great.... A perfect date movie! Not overly sappy and not typical "chick flick" drivel.
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Creme Brulee or a Divorce?
ferguson-631 July 2011
Greetings again from the darkness. From the opening scene it is clear we aren't in for a typically lame rom-com with caricatures instead of characters and punchlines instead of feelings. Instead, this one is all about the characters and their feelings ... realistic feelings of pain, anger, hope and frustration. Now don't misunderstand. It doesn't go too deep and there is still plenty of humor in the moments.

Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) are sharing one of their many restaurant moments over the course of their long, steady marriage. Only this time, something spoils the comfort zone. Emily says she wants a divorce and later tells Cal that she had an affair with a co-worker (Kevin Bacon). What follows is as close to real life reactions as we could ever hope for in a rom-com. Cal is hurt. The kids are angry. Emily is confused. Their friends take sides.

The intertwining story lines and characters are both sad and funny. We see how people react when they are attracted to others ... or not. We see how people react when they wonder if their decision was rash. We see how basically nice people try to do the right thing for themselves and others, but still mess it up sometimes.

After moving out, Cal heads to a local upscale lounge that seems to be stocked with gorgeous women and only a handful of men ... every night. In real life, the line of men waiting to enter would be wrapped around the block. Still, one of the regulars is Jacob, played by Ryan Gosling. He is a thing of beauty to look at it and always quick with just the right line. His science is making women believe he cares about nothing but them. Cal is discouraged by Jacob's incredible success rate. Jacob notices Cal's negative vibe and agrees to train him. But first, the makeover ... wardrobe, haircut and conversation skills.

The polar opposite effect of what you might expect from Hollywood - these nice people begin to question their direction. Cal longs for Emily. Emily still thinks about Cal, but dates her co-worker. The son (Jonah Bobo) has a crush on the older baby-sitter, who has a crush of her own. Even Jacob falls hard for new attorney Hannah (Emma Stone) who has just walked out on her wet rag boyfriend (Josh Groban) who offered her a job, rather than a ring. Oh what a tangled web we weave. And that's just the stuff I can tell you! Cal's first conquest utilizing his newly learned skills is a teacher played with full energy by the terrific Marisa Tomei. She only has a couple of scenes, but as usual, Ms. Tomei makes the most of her screen time. The baby sitter is played well by Analeigh Tipton, but it's interesting to note (in real life) she is 3 days younger than law school grad Hannah (Stone).

All of the actors are top notch here. Steve Carell continues to get better ... this is a superior movie to Date Night (with Tina Fey). Julianne Moore is solid, though her character is mostly mopey. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are both outstanding. Gosling is none for mostly offbeat, dark independent films but shows again how easily he slides back into sex symbol. Ms. Stone is headed for super-stardom. She was really good in Easy A and has a star-making turn in the upcoming film The Help. After that, it's on to the new Spider-Man for her.

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa are the co-directors and were responsible for the much less mainstream I Love You Phillip Morris, with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. Surprisingly the film was written by Dan Fogelman, who is known for his script writing on the animated Cars movies.

No question women will enjoy the film, but the surprise is, many men will relate to what's going on with the Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling characters. There is enough humor to keep everyone happy and enough strong writing to say this is a very good movie.
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Crazy Stupid Love
iheart_ny12 August 2011
Let me start off my review of this film by saying that I hate Steve Carrell. Watching him on "The Office" for all those years was painful, because his character, and it seemed his acting style was unbelievably stupid and bland. While he has occasionally been a decent funnyman, I hadn't seen him in a role where he was remotely interesting and believable.

Yesterday, I was at the movies, pretty much the whole day, and decided to check out "Crazy Stupid Love", because it had decent critical and audience reactions, better than I expected for a romantic comedy, and it had some of my favorite people in it, including Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. And, to say the least, I was caught by surprise.

One of the reasons for this, is because "Crazy Stupid Love" works as a romantic comedy and a drama. Most romantic comedies, I find, are predictable, stale, and essentially one carbon copy after another, of the same exact story, played out in a slightly altered way. You probably won't guess where "Crazy Stupid Love" is going. While the ending itself is a lot like I predicted it, there's a big plot twist that presents itself in the climax that I really didn't see coming. And that's reason enough to see this movie.

However, there are many (better) reasons. One of the big reasons is that it avoids making any of its characters caricatures. Each character is real, and flawed, screwed up and deals with his or her problems in a very grounded and grown-up way.

It revolves around Cal (Carell), a man who has been married to Emily (Moore) for 25 years, and is rocked by the revelation that she wants a divorce, after sleeping with a co-worker (Kevin Bacon). Cal begins hanging out at a chic pickup bar, where he meets Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a lothario who takes a different woman home every night. He picks up on Cal's depression, and helps him turn into something of a womanizer. Meanwhile, Cal's floppy-haired thirteen-year-old son Robbie has a crush on his older babysitter, who has a little crush of her own. Also, Jacob meets Hannah (Emma Stone), a young lawyer who has heard every pickup line, and therefore, has a quite jaded outlook on love.

And it is the first film or TV show to portray Steve Carrell as a human being. He can act! Who knew? I actually liked him in this role, because I felt that he wasn't Michael Scott, or that guy from "Get Smart", or "The 40-Year-Old Virgin", but an average guy whose life didn't turn out as he had hoped. I bought him in this role. He more than keeps up with the rest of the film's stellar cast.

Another revelation here is Ryan Gosling. I've mostly seen him in depressing dramatic roles ("Blue Valentine", "The Notebook"), while here, he proves himself to be a cunning comedian. He has spectacular comedic timing, and clearly has a lot of fun here with the other actors. He seems to be the superficial funnyman at first, and, like the rest of the cast in this terrific film, opens up, and surprises the audience.

While Julianne Moore is always great, her character and Carrell's character mesh in a way that makes you believe that their marriage lasted 20+ years. Emma Stone is on fire right now, doing a great role in "The Help", she shines just as much here, if not more. Her character is instantly lovable, and I can't wait to see what she does next.

This film also features Marisa Tomei, who gives a fierce, and very funny performance as a recovering alcoholic schoolteacher who dates Cal for awhile after his divorce. Kevin Bacon also made me laugh, as Emily's co- worker, who was her post-divorce rebound. While these two have brief roles, they are very funny and make the most of what they are given.

What makes this film memorable for me, is that it is realistic. It doesn't paint love out to be this magical thing that will automatically make anyone happy. It knows that love doesn't always work out, and occasionally ends in heartbreak and/or violence. And while it's somewhat a cautionary tale, it ends hopefully and overall, kind of happily. It made me cry a little, and it made me laugh a lot. And while it could have been a bit longer, and given its characters some more room to grow, it was a satisfying overall package that I would recommend to someone who's trying to escape the summer of superhero flicks and sequels.
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Somewhere between crazy and stupid
littlemartinarocena2 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I loved Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's "I Love You Philip Morris" but it must have been terribly frustrating for them, having to wait 2 years for the release and then, not finding an audience in sufficient numbers, not even with Jim Carrey. "Crazy Stupid Love" seems like a totally understanding attempt to go main stream and get the kind of box office response that will allow them to go on. I think Ficarra and Requa are two enormous talents - remember their script for "Bad Santa? - the market needs made them do this silly, complacent, undercooked comedy. Something so far away from what they've done before that I hope we haven't lost them forever. I didn't believe for a minute that Julianne Moore and Steve Carrell were a couple. I love Ryan Gosling but didn't believe for a minute he will dedicate himself to the Carrell character. And Carrell's outburst at his son's graduation seems a monumental miscalculation. What's great about stealing your own son's thunder. I don't get Carrell, I must confess. I can't wait for him to play a serial killer. That will get him an Oscar nomination. To make things even more puzzling, Kevin Bacon plays a joke of a part and he's photographed without any regard. I'm puzzled and a little bit annoyed.
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The connections that you finally couldn't see from a mile away...
gino-cabrera3 August 2011
I will admit from opening bell, that I do enjoy sappy love movies. It was a movie that made you laugh,cry,wonder and cover your eyes. Steve keeps true to his on screen character and his own real life strength but never forgetting to mumble some sort of funny line even in his most "sappy-est" of moments. I give this movie two thumbs up for its twist at the end and keeping it out of viewers sights so well! I do however wish that they would have developed a little more back story with Ryan's character but still, a movie to be enjoyed by all. Emma delivers some nice side humor along with her friend in the movie as well! I believe Steve may have surpassed expectations of his ability to play that main love role and still maintain his "funny guy" image.
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Crazy,Stupid, Love Movie
larann6 August 2011
I wasn't sure if I wanted to see this movie at the theater,but I am really glad I did. The characters are well played out, not very likable at first, but after you get to know the cast, you really feel for everyone. I thought Julianne Moore & Steve Carrell had great chemistry with their relationship. Super script, nice directing, great casting with Robbie, the son. This movie will surprise you at how good it is. I loved how you saw the characters at work, at home, at the bar & with their friends. This was very well played out & comes together in the end extremely well. Ryan Gosling is very hot even when he is sleazy. Great date night movie!!
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Not as great as everyone says but it's still a notch above the usual romantic comedy.
JimmyCollins8 October 2011
After seeing the trailer a million times at theaters I was looking forward to seeing Crazy Stupid Love as it has one of my favorite actors in it, Julianne Moore. It looked to me like a smart romantic comedy for adults with a bit of an edge, which is exactly what it is, the story is fresh and appeals to a broad age range, the Steve Carrell/Julianne Moore storyline appeals to the older married demographic and the Ryan Gosling/ Emma Stone storyline appeals to the younger hipper generation.

Steve Carrell gives a terrific performance as the poor guy whose life just seems to go from bad to worse, I think he will be nominated for a golden globe or something like that, he is a very funny guy to watch no matter what role he is in, the rest of the cast is fine also, Miss Moore once again proves she us an actress with a spectacular, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have excellent chemistry together which makes them entirely believable as lovers, however one person steals the show and that is Marisa Tomei in all her nutty glory, her scenes are exceptionally funny but they are too few and far between.

This movie does have it's flaws, the end twist is too far fetched and unbelievable, I think it would have been better if they gave you some clues as to how the story all comes together in the end, the Gosling/Stone relationship isn't given enough time to make you really care, and also it's a tad too long. But other than that this is a nice, funny and overall enjoyable film to watch.
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Better than expected!...
cat_ranchero11 November 2012
I actually found it quite engaging eventually; it was a little hard to get into at first but when the narrative began to settle down I could see a structure there that had potential. Brief summary: When Emily Weaver (Julianne Moore) announces to her husband Cal (Steve Carell) that she wants a divorce, his world collapses around him. She had slept with another man, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon) and Cal finds that hard to take since they had been together since high school. He takes to going to bars to drown his sorrows and is taken under the wing of Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) who shows him how to dress, behave and (most importantly) how to pick up women. At this he is quite successful (eventually) but he feels there is still something missing. Meanwhile there are a couple of other sub-plots going on. One involves Cal's son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), who has become infatuated with his babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). She, meanwhile is holding a torch for Cal… With me so far?... Also, there is law student, Hannah (Emma Stone) who Jacob had been unsuccessful in picking up when we first meet him (I can't really say any more about her without giving too much away, so here I'll stop). All these threads eventually tie together in what (at times) appears like a French farce, but which does ultimately have a very valid point.

All the performances were very good with Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore taking centre stage. I thought Kevin Bacon was slightly underused, and more could have been made of Emma Stone's character. Over all, it's pretty well made but the narrative does tend to wander in places. An endearing film that does have quite a strong message about love and about soul mates. I freely admit this old romantic found it quite relatable.

SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED

My score: 7.5/10

You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.
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paulalner19 October 2011
I feel compelled to write as I can't believe the rating this movie has. We've seen it all before many times and this movie brings nothing new. OK let me begin, the first 40 minutes are funny, if it ended there it would be 10, Carrell & Gosling give good performances and really gel as a duo but like so many comedies it loses it's way and the mid section drags only to find that the finale is a big sentimental schmaltz that really shouldn't be present in a comedy. Why do American comedies always do this (Sandler, Carrey)? It's better than Just go with it, it couldn't be any worse!, and the performances are all first rate, it's just a pity the project is wanting.
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Stupid is right - and also sexist, boring and disingenuous
Hashimuri29 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film reminded me a lot of Little Miss Sunshine, a "dysfunctional family" comedy I also hated. Things that are actually way creepy and/or disturbing are played for laughs, for example:

  • a 13-year-old boy stalking and harrasing his 17-year-old babysitter. He is relentless: tells her upfront that he masturbates while thinking about her, embarrasses her with public declarations, texts her nonstop, cycles to her house in the middle of the night to leave a bundle of flowers at her door (long after she's begged him to stop)... If he's old enough to feel an attraction for someone, then he's old enough to understand the concept of backing off when it is made clear that the attraction is not mutual (not just that-- the girl tells him repeatedly that he makes her feel "uncomfortable"-- ignoring someone's feelings is a trademark mainly of guys who veer on, or actually are, abusive

  • a 17-year-old girl obsessing over a 44-year-old dad (Carrell), to the extent that she overtly disrespects his wife (Moore), who employs her as a babysitter. Her obsession reaches new lows when she snaps naked pictures of herself with the intent of seducing Carrell. There was no logic to why this character would cheapen herself so absurdly just to win the affections of a nice, but by no means charming or exceptional, family man. Not to mention, if she hates Moore for breaking up the marriage, why is she so keen to further sabotage it by throwing herself at Carrell?

  • a 44-year-old dad controlling his 27-year-old daughter's love life, to the point that he disowns her for having a boyfriend whose past sexual behaviour he disapproves of, even though he himself has recently indulged in that exact type of behaviour. What is it with male characters in films being so patronising and protective of female characters? Are women in audience meant to find this manly and flattering? Is this the 1950s, where sexual hypocrisy reigns supreme? So it seems in the film.

  • a 40-something woman (Tomei) who goes to bars on her own to get laid is totally upset when a random dude she goes home with (Carrell) doesn't ever call her. Really? Are we meant to believe the sex was that good? Why must the film depict an older woman seeking sex with a stranger be so pathetically? Oh, I know-- because only a pathetic woman would still be single at that age and go to bars seeking no-strings-attached sex. Again-- are we stuck in Pleasantville or what?

Other old-fashioned clichés forced upon the viewer include having an indiscriminate playboy (Gosling) fall for a near-virginal girl (Stone), whose purity of heart and earnest innocence no doubt compel him to abandon his reckless, emotionally stunted, promiscuous ways. To add insult to injury, the near-virginal girl initially fawns over a douchebag in a suit (i.e. the financially secure but boring guy), and is heartbroken when he doesn't propose (girls just always want a ring on their finger, don't ya know).

Amidst these pathetic story lines (compounded by some really pathetic dialogue), the only saving grace were a few well-timed and refreshingly funny jokes, plus Gosling's barely-concealed smirk for having carte blanche to do absolutely no real acting whatsoever. He merely prances around in flashy suits and flaunts his pecs.

My final quip: for a film about sexual conquests and awakenings, where was the chemistry between any of the characters, the steamy innuendos, the sensual vibes, or the actual sex? I would've killed for random scenes between Gosling and any of the two dozen women he picks up throughout the film-- or between him and Stone's quirky friend (also the token ethnic minority, who conveniently disappears the minute Stone and Gosling sink into a trite state of happily-ever-after-ness).

Or how about a scene with Moore and Bacon, who were far cuter together than Moore and Carrell? There's just not even anything in this film that could be considered a payoff. In this sense, it really reminded me of that most disingenuous of romcoms that also has "love" in the title but completely denigrates the concept-- yes, the perplexingly much-loved turd, Love Actually. Well, Crazy, Stupid Love has joined the ranks, congrats!
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Not as Funny as it Should Have Been
ThreeGuysOneMovie18 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Steve Carell is Cal Weaver, a 40 something dad who has embraced middle age mediocrity. He goes out to dinner with his baggy chinos, and New Balance sneakers on. He takes his relationships with his children and his wife for granted and is basically living with the cruise control on. Cal's wife Emily (Julianne Moore), drops a bombshell on Cal while they are out at dinner and tell him that she wants a divorce and that she has been sleeping with someone else.

Cal is devastated and is forced to re-think his life now that he has to live alone. In order to drown his sorrows, Cal starts hanging out at a local bar where he meets Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a womanizing playboy who agrees to help Cal find his mojo and win back his wife. I had some high hopes for this movie. They certainly found enough stars to be in it. Does it translate into a great movie? Not really. The problem with this movie isn't the acting it's the script. The plot is pretty ridiculous and there are unnecessary twists that just didn't need to be included in the movie. It plays out like a bad episode of Threes Company. Although I was impressed with the acting from Jonah Bobo as Cal's son, he is also the victim of some of the most ridiculous scenes in the movie. It's too bad because he could have had one of the more interesting performances in the film.

Julianne Moore seemed to playing the exact same character she played in The Kids Are All Right. A 40 something mom that cheats on her spouse and is confused about what she wants from life. She was the least impressive of the cast for me. The rest of the cast did a good job, Ryan Gosling continues to impress. He proves that he can do comedy just as well as he does anti-hero. I am getting a little worried that we are starting to get over saturated with him though. How about you give us a little time to miss you? I know that I was supposed to like this one, its 78% percent fresh on RT but for me some decent acting can't make up for a flakey unrealistic script that wants us to believe in one too many coincidences.
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very different yet very dramatic dark comedy
buttercupgia23 October 2012
just the usual storyline..parents break up in the beginning and get back together at the end..but the things that happen in between makes this movie a lot different, a lot better than other movies of same genre.. the positives are the way they have treated this story line, the cast, their acting -steve carell keep this movie going and Ryan gosling looks really stunning with his perfect abs..but the screenplay cud have been bit better..most of the scenes takes place in the bar..those thing make the movie go slower..and also the same old clichés like mom cheating over dad, and dad getting back to the family in a thought provoking, eye opening speech in the end are bit dramatic...but whatever said, if only the pace of the movie was good then this movie could have become one of the best movies in this genre
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The Plot and the Characters are Unbelievable
3xHCCH11 August 2011
There had been a lot of good words about this comedy called "Crazy Stupid Love." Although I am not really a guy who would go and watch a romantic comedy, I watched this one for Steve Carrell, whom I believe is one of the funniest guys in Hollywood now.

This movie starts with Emily (Julianne Moore) telling her husband of 25 years Cal (Steve Carrell) that she wants a divorce while they were dining in a restaurant. OK, so now I know that I have a black comedy ahead of me. The movie follows Cal who was "helped" by playboy Jacob (Ryan Gosling) to get him ready to meet other women. One of the women he hooks up with is Kate (the hilarious Marisa Tomei). Emily on the other hand, takes up with David (the ever smarmy Kevin Bacon).

Side stories include Jacob hooking up with young lawyer Hannah (Emma Stone), who in turn was hoping her colleague (Josh Groban) would propose to her. Meanwhile, Cal and Emily's 13-year old son Robbie is sure that his 17-year old babysitter Jessica (America's Next Top Model finalist Analeigh Tipton) is his soul mate. But she is in love with a much older married man. Such is the complicated web that this movie weaves.

Steve Carrell again does very well with this sad-sack character that he seems to know so well. His deadpan delivery in some pretty funny situations that Cal gets himself into was spot on. The character of Ryan Gosling though, I find preposterous. I agree with Cal's belated realization that this guy is one big creep. The women basically play straight men to the male characters, with Marisa Tomei shining in the laughs department despite her short role.

While I liked the surprises in the climax and the touching scene at Robbie's graduation, the rest of the film did not really appeal to me too much. Yes, there were funny parts but a lot fall flat for me. I must say that for conservatives, there can be a lot of uncomfortable situations that may be hard to watch in this film. I know women may disagree with me about Ryan Gosling's part though.
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Not funny.
PWNYCNY18 August 2011
Crazy, stupid, love? The middle word aptly describes this ridiculous movie. Steve Carell and the other cast members are completely unfunny in this movie that purportedly is a comedy. The story is dreary and implausible. Steve Carell's character is so unbelievable that no amount of literary license can make it plausible. When Steve Carell throws himself out of a moving car, that sets the tone for this movie. Not only is this movie not funny, the story is warped. It asks the audience to accept certain premises that are not are not only untenable but destroy whatever humor the story may contain. As a study of domestic dysfunctionality, the movie does better job, but frankly that is not supposed to be the theme of the story. There is nothing funny about a man ejecting himself from a car after he learns that his wife wants a divorce and that his life has been turned upside down. That's tragic. If someone is expecting an amusing movie, prepare to be disappointed. The same can be said if you are expecting high drama. In fact, it might be best of you wait until the movie goes to DVD land.
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kitsch, sloppy, no love
donflush2 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see this upon reading the cast members...Marisa Tomei, Julianne Moore, Kevin Bacon, wow. But what a waste of talent for these people, and a waste of time for me as well. The story felt very sloppy, and the characters were bland as a result. Steve Carell's role reminded me of his role in "40-yr-old virgin": nerdy middle-age guy with little sexual experience. Sure he managed to be funny at parts but talk about typecast! Ryan Gosling's role meant to be a muscular dandy but came off as border-line homosexual. His upper body seemed to occupy an unhealthy amount of screen time. And one scene they put Steve Carell's face right on Ryan Gosling's groin area-what the hell was that all about? Oh and the whole thing about the 17-yr-old babysitter taking naked photos of herself for Cal(Steve Carell)-what?? How's that funny? It's rather disturbing! Julianne Moore's performance was kind of generic and I couldn't take one more shot of her teary, blank stare. And I also thought their kid (Jonah Bobo) was horrid! His character was the most painful to watch, following by Emma Stone. My! What a terrible actress. The total lack of depth of the film was astounding. Please can someone tell me what's the point of the story? I mean, really. I think it was made for people that are grown up on the outside but still 8-yr-olds on the inside. For the real grown-ups, it might leave a bad taste in your mouth, so be warned.
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Crazy, Stupid, Love; a simple story ruined
dougwintersmusic26 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I've come to the conclusion that Hollywood is incapable of producing a fully engrossing, delightfully simple "romantic comedy." "Crazy, Stupid, Love" makes the unfortunate mistake of presenting three touchingly believable stories along with three completely superfluous, "wacky" bad sit-com ones.Steve Carrell plays "Cal," the emasculated, depressed husband of his restlessly bored wife "Emily," played by the amazing Julianne Moore "Emily" who admits she has been cheating on "Cal" within the first few minutes of the movie and the couple spend the next 118 minutes trying to get back together. There are several genuinely charming, unaffected moments that allow us to see the chemistry Cal & Emily once had as a happily married couple.Ryan Gosling tries his superb, chameleon-like acting chops out on romantic comedy deeply involved in two of the three believable relationship with convincing ease. With a chiseled body, perfectly coiffed hair, million-dollar wardrobe and extraordinary good looks, Gosling "Jake" falls easily into the role of a  disarmingly handsome, irresistibly charming cad. His confident playfulness reassures us that "Jake" is no mere shallow misogynist, he's simply a guy doing what he apparently does best.                              With a great deal of the action set in a chic cosmopolitan "glass-and-chrome" bar, Gosling, as the king of this castle, has yet to meet the woman who can say "no" to Jake's ultra-smooth "closing" line of "Wanna get outta here?" Witnessing Cal's self- pitying ineptitude, Jake decides to take him under his wing. Surrendering his credit card, Cal puts himself in Jake's hands for a confidence-building make-over. Gosling and Carrell's ensuing friendship is genuinely endearing as Cal progresses as Jake's protégé.             The unthinkable happens when Jake becomes instantly smitten by the one woman who refuses his offer for casual sex. But to Jake's surprise and delight the same woman, "Hannah," played by the incandescent Emma Stone returns several days later, plants a big drunken kiss on Jake and insists that he take her home. In one of the movie's most charming scenes, Hannah giggles her way through Jake's mask of perfection, followed by both of them laughing at his admittedly canned and rehearsed seduction lines, with Jake finally admitting "What can I say? They work." Hannah and Jake don't have sex their first night together, allowing Jake the opportunity to begin to open up about himself for the first time, marking the beginning of their light and breezy, ever-deepening courtship.                                     The problem with "Crazy, Stupid, Love," is that the writer Dan Fogelman and director Glenn Ficara didn't feel that these three stories in the hands of these four exceptional actors were sufficient to hold our attention. For some inexplicable reason, they felt the need to throw in Maris Tomei as the sex-starved schoolmarm "Kate," with whom Cal has his first successful one-night stand. She, of course, becomes the "one-night stand from hell," and "OMG!," turns out to be Cal's son's English teacher. In a disturbingly poorly written and poorly acted role, Ms.Tomei is so needlessly "over- the-top" as Cal's sex-partner turned "woman scorned" that she threatens to single- handedly destroys the credibility of the entire movie. Not quite finished, Mr. Fogelman and Mr. Ficarra felt the need to introduce John Carroll Lynch as the Cal & Emily's "wacky neighbor," who appears for the sole purpose of engaging Cal in a cringe-worthy backyard brawl. The fight is so absurdly contrived because the audience is well aware that Cal is the innocent victim, rather than the perpetrator of his neighbor's wrath. But worst of all, it wasn't funny.                                                       And as the coup de gras, they felt the need to throw Kevin Bacon into the mix as Emily's new boyfriend ("David Lindhagen.") His presence is so insignificant, that Ficarra and Fogelman must have been under laboring under the misconception that Mr. Bacon needed to add Carrell, Moore, Gosling and Stone to his famous "six degrees."                         The simple advice I would give to the movie makers of "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is "less is more." What could have been a delightful rom-com ends up as a convoluted mess. By editing out these pointless cliché-ridden characters, the four principals might have given us the streamlined, surprise hit of the summer, rather than yet another tepid, half-baked attempt at romantic comedy. Please refer to "Larry Crowne," "Friends With Benefits" and "No Strings Attached."
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Stupid stupid stupid
sharonmaceda-16 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie trying to distinguish it from a soap opera or romance novel, that it was almost impossible to do. The idea is that a woman (Julian Moore) has sex with a co-worker (Kevin Bacon). Then on their way home after dinner, she tells her loving husband of 25 years (Steve Carrell)—a dinner where he thinks everything went great, by the way—that she screwed her co-worker and she wants a divorce. Let's just review this… the guy, after 25 years, still loves his wife, and still takes her out to dinner, along with the fact that he's a loving husband, hard worker and all the trimmings…and she screws around behind his back and SHE wants a divorce. Let's go one more step: the guy is lost after that, he just literally jumps out of the car and is so sick to his stomach, because let's face it, mister perfect man loved his wife and loved his life, and he finds out within seconds that his wife is screwing another man and wants a divorce. Fast forward a bit. Now he's drinking a lot, he's lonely, he has to go out and live in an apartment (of course she gets the house), and all that, and then, after meeting the town hunk (Ryan Gossling), he is mentored into the ways of the world and women. So after some months go by, he finally starts to have sex with other women…did I mention that he never had sex with another woman other than his wife before she kicked him out and he'd had no desire to cheat? And this is the killer—after he has sex with other women, his soon-to-be ex-wife flips out! Did I miss something here? She screwed someone else, she's divorcing him, but she flips out when he seeks out other female companionship. Wait, it gets better! All along, he's still trying to do the right thing. He waters the lawn at his (separated) wife's house, he continues to be a good dad, and he continues, under the influence of his son, to attempt to get his wife back. This is the message I get: a spouse cheats, wants a divorce and then the other spouse—who never did anything wrong—has to do all the work to try to fix things. That doesn't sit right with me. Maybe in some twisted fantasy a woman, or man, wants to think they can cheat, demand a divorce and have their mate pursue them endlessly, but that's not reality...nor does it make for good entertainment.
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Oh, dear God, this was awful
aeasmmikey1 August 2011
I appear to be alone in this thought, but I thought this was awful, just dreadful. Bad script, bad acting, bad close-ups, but most of all -- bad directing.

Staring off with the most annoying actress to ever by on screen -- ANALEIGH Tipton. Oh, please you can barely look at her she is so awful. Every shot of her and everyone else is so tight it makes you uncomfortable. There is so much wrong with this film I really don't know where to start, so I'll just say: the big "twist" is just plain stupid -- who cares? It doesn't add anything to the story. The child porn thing is just creepy. The main story element of the failing marriage is never really fleshed out. The other main story point -- of Steve Carrell's character becoming a horn dog -- is odd and off-putting. The whole movie is just plain weird. That's as best as I can sum it up. The casting is especially odd. Marissa Tomei and Kevin bacon are thrown in for -- oh, I don't know. The 13-year old son is bad. The little girl has no lines at all. Julianna Moore is just not good here -- comes off as a harpy. The only saving grace is -- Emma Stone. She is kind of radiant, if that makes any sense. But the story line she has really doesn't make sense, because Ryan Gosling also plays a horn dog with no sense of goodness, who only goes after really hot chicks so, no -- he would NOT seek her out from a crowded bar.

Not worth your money. Skip this one.
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fresh & clever comedy
tr913 August 2013
Romantic comedies aren't usually my kind of thing but I thought this film was great. The cast is strong (Gosling, Stone, Carell) which is the main reason I chose to watch this film. It is quite a long film but the plot is really clever. There is plenty of different things going on in the film and the way it all gets linked together is brilliant and certainly something I did't see coming.

There are some genuine laugh out loud moments and the film is straight to the point. The cast is great and all work together well, the plot is fresh and clever and it really was one of the best romantic comedies I have seen (haven't seen many but still) - Would recommend this film to anyone.

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Flawless comedy! A lot of good laughs and very entertaining!!!
nlytnd_110 October 2012
Once in a great while I watch a movie that I really enjoy... this is that movie. The actors in this movie are great! Ryan Gosling is one of my favorite actors now. Prior to this I had only seen him in Drive, The Believer and Lars and the Real girl. Just on those 4 movies alone, talk about a diverse spectrum of roles. The confident all around cool guy is the role you would almost expect him to get type casted into, but this is the first time I've seen him play that type of character. Coming from a hedro, he's one sexy bitch!!!

Emma stone plays her same character, which I totally dig... and why not, no ones better with the sarcasm then she is. Marisa Tomei is classic in this movie. Hilarious!! For me it's the best role I've ever seen her in. They must have been dying on the set, when she was busting her stuff out.

The movie is well written, the story line is nothing new, but never done this well. It's basically just a love triangle that comes to a head. The message that the movie leaves us with is kind of lame and borderline stalker.

Anyways, This is a great movie in any setting. Highly recommended!!!
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More horrifying than "Saw" or "Hostel"
mark_r_harris8 March 2013
So, I thought I would check out the state of the contemporary rom-com, and this seemed like a good bet. I mean, actors like Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei, how can you go wrong?

Very,very wrong. What I got was one of the most appalling movies I have seen in a long time, a sick demented number full of crazy stalkers, that entirely endorses and promotes stalker-ish behavior. Because, you see, as long as YOU are convinced that the target is your "soul-mate," it can't be considered stalking.

Hello, Mr. Screenwriter! Have we forgotten that John Hinckley was fully convinced that Jodie Foster was his soul-mate? We know how that turned out, correct?

Ah, well, I guess we don't. So keep on pursuing your "romantic" thesis, and thanks for the details on 13-year-old boys masturbating and 17-year-old girls taking nude pictures of themselves. You are keeping it real and contemporary!

By the way, the answer to the burning question, What kind of dad hangs out at the same singles bars as his offspring? is, Creepy-as-Hell Dad!

Apart from pointing out the descent into the moral pit that this movie represents, I must also ruefully report that there is nothing of any aesthetic interest or pleasure here. No sprightliness, no style, no charm, not even such as might show up in the service of an entirely misguided plot. Not a single shot worth looking at, not a single line worth listening to. The characters are utterly boring, contourless screenwriter creations - no interests, no hobbies, no thoughts worth sharing, nada. No actors no matter how good could do anything with this material.

Steve Carell certainly cannot convince us that he could suddenly become a swingin' SoCal ladies' man, effortlessly picking up women half his age - and again, given the third act revelation here, it's a big yuck that he would want to.

Have fun.
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