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McCoy on Movies: Crazy, Stupid, Love Movie Review

McCoy on Movies: Crazy, Stupid, Love Movie Review
Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling co-headline a romantic comedy that takes a look at
Crazy, Stupid, Love, but is it an entertaining take on modern romance or a waste of a date night? Click here to find out!
"So, you really can't tell me who's taking over your spot on The Office?" Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) ponders his love life with the slick-talking Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) in a scene from Warner Brothers' new romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love. Credit: Ben Glass. ©2011 Warner Bros. Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

 

KEY CAST MEMBERS: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, Jonah Bobo, Marisa Tomei, Analeigh Tipton, Liza Lapira, Josh Groban, Beth Littleford, John Carroll Lynch and Joey King
WRITER(S):
Dan Fogelman
DIRECTOR: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
WEB SITE: www.crazystupidlove.warnerbros.com
THE PLOT:
Crazy, Stupid, Love stars Steve Carell as Cal Weaver, a nice enough guy who finds out a not-so-nice thing from his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), at dinner one night. You see, not only does she want a divorce, but she also has slept with her co-worker, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). This comes as a shock not only to Cal, but also to his young son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), a 13-year-old romantic with a very heavy crush on Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who babysits him and his younger sister, Molly (Joey King). (Still following? Good.)

 

Meanwhile, Hannah (Emma Stone) has a situation of her own. For while her best friend, Liz (Liza Lapira), can't stand him, Emma is quite certain her boyfriend (Josh Groban) is going to propose once she finishes law school. After all, he's promised a big surprise soon - what else could it be?

 

Distraught, Cal takes up a residence at a hip bar in town - which is what leads him to crossing paths with Jacob (Ryan Gosling). A smooth-talking ladies' man, Jacob makes it his mission to snap Cal out of his funk and get him back on track - be it with his wife or other women.

 

So then, why is this movie called Crazy, Stupid, Love, you wonder? If I told you any more, it wouldn't be worth seeing the movie to find out!

 

THE TAKE: If there's one thing Steve Carell does well in film regarding romance, it's being the "I know that guy" guy - and Crazy, Stupid, Love finds him doing it well once again. For Cal - like all of the characters in the movie, really - isn't a bad guy; he's just one that has let his life get away from him and is now trying to play catch-up now that he's realized he needs to hold on to what he loves most. This is done without making his character a caricature of a schlub and instead focusing on the relationship between he and the other characters around him, which is the central component to how he has ended up in this state he now is trying to pull himself out of desperately.

 

Likewise, Gosling - who is quickly establishing himself as one of the best young actors of his generation - is very good at keeping his character from being typically despicable or cartoonish, making all of his actions feel organic and, more importantly, understandable. This in turn helps set up Jacob's progression as the story develops, be it for comedic (or in some scenes, dramatic) effect.

 

The same can be said for the film's female characters, especially in the case of Marisa Tomei, who does a hilariously effective job in playing Robbie's teacher, Kate. Props are also in order for the film's young stars, as Bobo and Tipton truly add to the experience of the film in showcasing the naivete, hope and energy of young love - even when a bit misguided in an age where the Internet and the subsequent risk of public embarrassment are at an all-time high. It all adds up to a mix of characters who you can identify with at both their highest and lowest points instead of loathing their predictable actions before adding up to a lackluster finish. (And in case you didn't read that the way I intended, I am saying the film avoids doing that!)

 

Although the comedy at times is a little - oh, I don't know - outlandish, it never strays from the story for the sake of a cheap laugh, which is to the credit of the cast, writer Dan Fogelman and co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. For in making a romantic comedy strong enough for a man but not necessarily only made for women, they've crafted a - well, not perfect - but solid romantic comedy people can enjoy in a summer devoid of date movie options that don't involve superheroes, aliens or wizards.

 

PARTING SHOT: A film that avoids being either of the first two words in its title due to the strong performances of its cast, Crazy, Stupid, Love is an enjoyable take on modern romance you'll enjoy for years.

 

RATING (OUT OF FOUR BUCKETS OF POPCORN):

Tabari McCoy -

Tabari McCoy is Cincy Chic's movie critic. You can check out more of his work on his blog at McCoyonMovies.BlogSpot.com and follow him on Twitter at @tabarimccoy

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