“Crazy, Stupid, Love’ is the perfect combination of funny and sweet.
Although writer Dan Fogelman’s screenplay sometimes oversteps the boundaries of believability, causing the romantic dramedy to embody the characteristics noted in the first two words of its title, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” is charmingly unpredictable and fun through-and-through thanks to the innate likability of its first-rate cast and high-energy direction from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.
Steve Carell stars as Cal Weaver, a 40-something-year-old man whose perfect life quickly unravels upon learning that his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) has not only cheated on him but also wants a divorce. Therefore, Cal suddenly finds himself spending each evening sulking alone at a local bar, pining over his lost love.
That is, until he meets 30-something-year-old player Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), who takes Cal on as a wingman and protege in an effort to help the hapless man get over his wife and start living his life. Jacob opens Cal’s eyes to the many options before him: flirty women, manly drinks and a sense of style that cannot be found at Supercuts or The Gap.
Meanwhile, Cal’s 13-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) believes that his 17-year-old babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) is his soul mate. However, Jessica has quite the crush on Cal. Even Jacob suffers from problems of the heart, constantly thinking about the only woman who has rejected his romantic advances (Emma Stone).
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” also stars Kevin Bacon, John Carroll Lynch, Marisa Tomei, Josh Groban and Joey King. However, to explain how each of their respective characters play into the plot would be spoiling one of the best surprises of the year. Needless to say, a twist is at play here and watching it evolve – whether or not you are able to catch on before the reveal – is a lot of fun.
Fogelman, whose screenwriting credits are predominantly comprised of animated adventures like “Tangled,” “Bolt,” “Cars” and its (despicable) sequel, occasionally shifts “Crazy, Stupid, Love” into the outrageous, forcing his characters to exist in a world that can only exist in the naïve world of the romantic comedy – or, worse, a television sitcom.
However, said scenes are not horrendous. They simply do not live up to the natural charm that the rest of the movie exudes through a relatively fresh approach to the genre. Moreover, each member of the cast – especially Gosling – gives a notably strong performance while Ficarra and Requa, who also directed last year’s underrated “I Love You Phillip Morris,” make the most of Fogelman’s unusually animated screenplay.
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (PG-13 – 118 minutes) is now playing at movie theaters throughout the Valley. Visit FirstLook.com for specific showtimes.
Listen to Joseph J. Airdo’s “Movie Maverick” radio segment, every Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. during “The Daily Blender with Jeffry O’Brien” on KBSZ – NBC 1260 AM and 96.1 FM.