Sunday, September 18, 2011
#201: Crazy Stupid Love
Crazy Stupid Love is a 2011 comedy about a couple played by Steve Carrell and Julianne Moore who have been married for over 20 years with 3 children. Both of them in their mid-40s are now struggling to come to terms with their uninspiring husband-wife relationship and the breaking point comes when Emily (Moore) hooks up with a colleague. This new development leaves Weaver (Carrell) devastated and he goes about moping about his wife's infidelity in a nearby bar. It is here that he meets the smooth-talking Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Palmer takes it upon himself to get Weaver out of his misery and begins a makeover of Weaver's lifestyle.
While you see the first hour of Crazy Stupid Love unfolding, you know you've seen it all before. It is likely that Weaver will get lucky soon with a woman. He does. You know Palmer will finally find the love of his life, he does. You know that Emily will start missing Weaver soon. She does. It all goes according to the the routine storyline. Although this is meant to be a comedy, there isn't so much of a funny quotient in the dialogues or situations. However, where Crazy Stupid Love scores is its sub-plots that come together neatly in the final act of the movie. The ending though predictably sweet and happy has more than its share of surprises and redeems what would've been otherwise a dreary movie.
It also features some good performances by an ensemble cast that had names such as Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, James Gandolfini who all play bit-part roles but leave a mark with their presence. Steve Carrell's protagonist act isn't entirely convincing because of the cliched loser character he portrays but eventually he does manage to connect with you. The stand out act for me though was Weaver's 14-year old son Jonah Bobo who has a crush on his baby-sitter. His is a near flawless act and it surely isn't the last we've heard of him in Hollywood. Ryan Gosling isn't bad either as the womanizer who turns Weaver's life upside down but when he comes into his own falling for Emma Stone, he becomes stoney-faced that leaves little emotional impact.
Overall, Crazy Stupid Love is strictly ok. And that too because of a couple of delightful surprises towards the end. It can at best be classified as a safe bet. And that too only if you have a movie like Friends with Benefits running alongside it.