Crazy, Stupid, Love
is a romantic comedy with a big heart--a refreshing change from its Hangover
-laden compatriots, and almost a throwback to a golden era of romance. For Crazy, Stupid, Love
relies on the sharp writing by Dan Fogelman (animated hits like Bolt
) and the sparkly chemistry of its cast, led by Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and the emerging superstar Emma Stone. It's not that the plot is ground-breaking--maybe, in fact, the appeal of Crazy, Stupid, Love
is that it's all too relatable. Cal (Carell) is long married to Emily (Moore), until one day she drops divorce on him, out of the blue. Stunned, Cal tries to reassemble his life as a woefully unprepared single guy. Enter Jacob (Gosling, who's never been better) as a happy bachelor whose tips for Cal will be ones that even the most happily wed female viewers will secretly want their mates to hear. Marisa Tomei has a hilarious turn as a temptress who's way out of Cal's league. And Stone is the fresh-faced, fearless young woman who shakes the confident Jacob's supposedly solid world view.
But it's the interplay between the characters, the true humanness of their emotions--long missing from many contemporary "romantic comedies"--that set Crazy, Stupid, Love in a class of its own. Moore is more than just the weary, accusatory neglected wife--someone who's never stopped believing in the spark of love. Gosling could easily be his generation's Cary Grant--assured, quick-witted, sly, yet vulnerable. Carell once again shows his dramatic capabilities on top of his impeccable comic timing. And Stone is a revelation, lovely, delicate, vulnerable but strong. Crazy, Stupid, Love will reaffirm the viewer's belief in all that's possible. Call us crazy. --A.T. Hurley