Crazy, Stupid, Love. (Rated PG-13)
Starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon
Directed by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Plot: A middle-aged man whose wife is seeking a divorce is taken under the wing of a womanizing younger man who helps him make his way through the dating world.
Last week, when I reviewed Friends With Benefits, I said it was the best romantic comedy I’d seen in a LONG time. Fast forward one week later, and it has found some stellar company in Crazy, Stupid, Love. While Friends With Benefits was somewhat formulaic and succeeded on the strength of its two leads, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is smart, funny, incredibly poignant and has one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen in a long time.
Cal (Steve Carell) is out to dinner with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) when she announces she wants a divorce. She doesn’t know if she’s suffering a mid-life crisis or what, but she wants out. Oh, and she’s had an affair with a co-worker.
Cal spirals into a depression seeking comfort at a local bar. Here he meets Jacob (Gosling), who seduces women as easily as he breathes, except for a beautiful young lawyer (Stone) who appears to be immune to his charms. Jacob takes a liking to (or feels sorry for) Cal and decides to help him find his manhood. He eventually comes out of his shell and takes home a beautiful woman (Marisa Tomei) he meets in the bar.
As Jacob and Cal’s story progresses, we also learn more about Stone’s character and the lack of romance in her life. Cal’s son Robby is working on a grand gesture to win over his babysitter who is herself crushing on Cal. And Emily is being pursued by her work affair (Kevin Bacon). All of these storylines coalesce as characters intersect and weave together to form an intelligent, hilarious and touching conclusion.
The performances are all outstanding. Steve Carell is a gifted comedian, but he can also break your heart with a glance. Julianne Moore seems to grow more beautiful and more talented every year. The fact that this woman has not one an Oscar is nothing short of criminal. Gosling continues to impress me with every performance, as does Stone. After breaking out in last year’s Easy A as a leading actress, she has followed up with smart choices. I’m really looking forward to seeing her in next month’s The Help. Kevin Bacon and Marisa Tomei both shine in cameo roles. Tomei is the funniest she’s been since My Cousin Vinny.
I can’t talk about these actors without mentioning Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo. Tipton plays Cal and Emily’s babysitter; Bobo is their 13-year-old son who has a crush on her. Both actors display a wonderful sense of both comedy and drama. I think they have promising careers ahead of them.
It’s rare that a movie surprises me; particularly a romantic comedy. I had high expectations for this film, and it not only didn’t disappoint, it kept me guessing and had a couple of plot twists I didn’t see coming. I can’t think of any other movie I’ve seen this year that left me more satisfied. I wanted to head right home, get my wife, bring her back to the theater and watch it all over again with her.
The movie is funny and sweet and real. This is a great choice for a date night Not only will it entertain, it has a great message about the importance to not let the responsibility of taking care of a family overtake the responsibility of taking care of the marriage relationship.
If you are seeing the movie in the Ames area, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is playing at the Cinemark Movies 12. Opening week showtimes are 1:25 PM, 4:20 PM, 7:10 PM, 10:10 PM.
Theatrical showtimes are subject to change, so please check Cinemark’s website for current listings.
If you live outside the Ames area, Fandango may provide theaters and showtimes in your area.