Crazy Stupid Love Review

I’ve been pretty disillusioned with the world of cinema recently with films that I’ve been really excited to see letting me down in big, big ways. Crazy, Stupid, Love is one of those that fell into the looking forward to category but somehow I managed to miss it at the cinema. So when this disc fell into my grasp I was totally wary and anxious I was setting myself up for a huge disappointment. I can honestly say to you right now though, this certainly wasn’t the case. In fact I’d go as far to say that it is one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen in the past five years.

Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have hit a rough patch in their marriage and during a, what appears to be a “going through the motions”, date night Emily announces to the entire restaurant that she wants a divorce. Depressed and shocked, Cal starts drinking away his sorrows at a local bar, regaling anyone who will listen with his tale of woe. Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a professional bachelor, takes notice and makes it his personal mission to help Cal get over his wife, and become a new man in the process. However, like Valentine’s Day before it, Crazy, Stupid, Love follows a number of other threads and couples too. Flicking between Jacob’s relationship with Hannah (Emma Stone), Emily’s budding office romance with David (Kevin Bacon), and even Robbie (Jonah Bobo) pining over babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). Although, completely unlike Valentine’s Day, it does it with ease and you actually care about the characters and how their lives are changing.

I’ve never been a massive fan of Carell and could take him or leave him in most roles, especially those in which he’s been given the typically “funny man” part. He hasn’t quite slipped into my ‘hate’ folder yet, like Jim Carrey and Lee Evans and, perhaps, this role has redeemed him, for now at least. This performance doesn’t solely rely on laughs though and he somehow manages to make the transition from depressed to humiliated to confident via hilarious and swarthy without once being unlikeable. He proves here, he is clearly a talented actor and there’s a lot more to his skills. I hope he gets to flex his acting muscle in a few more dramatic roles soon. Gosling plays against type and shows that there is more going on behind those devastating good looks than a mardy, brooding sort. He manages to be charming and hysterical in equal amounts and he radiates chemistry and makes, what at first glance appears to be, a shameless womaniser into someone you really care about. The rest of the cast also provide really solid performances often delivering more than you would expect, especially from the supporting cast.

I’d never like to describe myself as a hopeless romantic but I am a sucker for a good love story and Crazy, Stupid, Love provides just that in bucket loads. On top of that though, there’s enough extra going on that even the hard hearted amongst you will find something to keep you interested. Plus, there are a few decent laughs thrown in that prove the comedy aspect was never an afterthought, like it so often is in this genre.

Laura Johnson

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