Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Crazy Smart Movie

Tonight, we went to see "Crazy Stupid Love".  And here's the review...

This was s movie that I wasn't really looking to see, but the combo of very positive reviews and The Lovely Steph Leann insisting that we should see it gave me a little more excitement about it.  Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Julianne Moore, its a story of love, broken heartedness, the rash things we do when things aren't good and crushes at a young age.

Carell plays Cal Weaver, who's world falls apart when his wife Emily (Moore) reveals she had an affair and now wants a divorce.  He finds his way into a bar and is noticed by Jacob (Gosling), a ladies man with all the tricks and moves... Jacob hears the sad story and in turn takes the older Cal under his wing to train him in the ways of mack-dom.  It works, because he ends up hooking up with lonely teacher Kate (I love me some Marisa Tomei), but one-night stands aren't always the best way to move-on in a heartbreak. 
While Emily tearfully discusses the break up of their marriage, Cal
goes on and on about care of the yard... to prevent a breakdown
Complicating matters are the fact that the guy that Emily cheated with, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon in his smarmy best) is chasing Emily relentlessly... Robbie Weaver, the 13 year old son, is in absolute love with Jessica, the babysitter... and Jessica, 17, is in absolute love with...well, Cal.  Yes, Cal.  Oh, and this is in the previews, so I'm not ruining anything, Jacob's player ways and player days come to and end when he meets Hannah (Emma Stone), who he calls "a game changer".   Actually, as the movie went on, I was almost afraid of hitting "Hitch" territory--not a bad movie at all, but the "Mack daddy teaches the schlub to get the girl, and ends up falling for a girl of his own" plot line just wouldn't have worked in that way in the movie.

The film progresses and Cal's life goes from bad to worse, Robbie's crush gets deeper, Jessica's crush on Cal gets even deeper and weirder, Kate doesn't take the one-night stand as easily as Cal wanted her too, Emily can't shake David Lindhagen, Jacob is bewildered by how much he likes--loves--Hannah... and the lives intersect one after another.

By the time it gets to the windmill scene towards the end, there's a little twist that not only did we not see coming, that we didn't even see the path that it could come until after the movie and we thought, "Oh yeah... that makes sense..."   And when the climax of the movie rolls around, during Robbie's 8th grade graduation, it is just about perfect. 
I don't think I knew Ryan Gosling was as good as he is... and Emma
Stone is great too
"Crazy Stupid Love" was not only a great film, it was one that we ended up talking about over dinner an hour later.  Discussing characters, discussing plot points, discussing the movie as a whole, because it made us want to discuss it--it make me personally want to see more.  At just under 2 hours, I didn't feel like it was long enough, I could have seen another 30 minutes or more. 

All leads--Carell, Stone, Moore and Gosling--are just about perfect in their parts, newcomer Analeigh Tipton does a solid job as jealous Jessica, and Jonah Bobo does a brilliant job as awkward, lovelorn Robbie.  The meeting, and subsequent standoff between Robbie, the 13 year old son, and David Lindhagen, the man who busted up the Weaver marriage, is hilarious and heartfelt.

What I liked so much about this film was that it seemed real.  Yes, Cal Weaver is jilted, but watch how Emily reacts when she finds out about (in the worst possible way) he and Kate's random hookup... and even though the big rumble at the windmill (you'll know what I'm talking about) is almost over the top, it still work

The screenplay can be a little tedious at times, and the jokes can be a little corny and out of place, but we both laughed heartily at all the right places, and recognized the emotions of a family falling apart.

While far from the perfect movie, "Crazy Stupid Love" is one of the better romantic comedies that I've seen in a long, long time.  Its funny and warm and emotional and silly and adult and smart. 

Its a love story.  Its a little crazy, but its far from stupid... it's smart.  Smart is a good word for it.

The Summer of Blogging Day Forty Eight

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