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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love Review

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (Advanced Screening) Review
2011, 110 minutes, Rated PG-13

Starring Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, and Marisa Tomei, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a romantic comedy focusing on the elusiveness of love and how it can come in go in the blink of an eye.  Now this sounds like a very clichéd premise, which it is, but it is ultimately redeemed by a charming cast and a big heart.  I have always hated films that went for the "ha ha," "ooh" and "aah," but were devoid of heart.  Having heart and real emotion can be a real saver for a film that does not have much of a script to work with as this one does.  Crazy, Stupid, Love. uses just about every romantic comedy cliché in the book, from the break-up-get-together-break-up-get-together routine to the awkward humor and "touching" lesson at the end.  But, in this film the "touching" lesson at the end was very emotional and (for the most part) well-handled.  This is due to the excellent acting skills of the entire cast.  They make the film.  Without them, the film might as well have never been made.
Steve Carell gives an excellent performance as a man who's wife wants a divorce and as always brings his signature awkward humor.  Four-time Oscar®-nominee Julianne Moore plays his wife to perfection.  As one of the most gifted actresses in modern American cinema, she can play any character from a lesbian mother to a disenchanted suburban housewife in 1941.  In this film, her facial expressions are what make her wonderful.  She can give a huge smile, and five seconds later, show a look of immense pain and suffering.  With her charm and her chemistry with Carrell, they really drive the movie home.
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are both charming as two people finding love who fall for each other.  They too have great chemistry and between the natural spunk that Stone brings to all of her films and Gosling's energy, they play off of each other perfectly and make a very convincing couple.
Now, we come to the screenplay.  As mentioned earlier, the screenplay has every overused device in the book and takes the easy way out every time it can.  This aspect substantially took away from the film.  I found myself laughing at one point, then rolling my eyes at another because yet another awkward moment came or cheesy line was delivered.  Hallelujah for the cast!
Overall, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is not a film to rush out and see, but is a perfect date movie or a fun night out.  Most will fall for its charm as I did.  Try as I did to resist it, I still kept falling under this film's spell.  This rarely happens, but this film, despite its problems, had just enough to make it completely enjoyable and likable.

-Joshua Handler

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