Crazy, Stupid, Love – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on September 16, 2011 | 1 Comment
PRODUCER – Steve Carell, Denise Di Novi
DIRECTOR – Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
WRITER – Dan Fogelman
CAST – Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore
MUSIC – Christophe Beck, Nick Urata
Hollywood’s still selling soul-mates and ever-lasting love when Bollywood has long stopped doing that (One thing, we’ve been ahead with, in the game!). ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ does the same routine once again.
It is not boring. It is engaging and entertaining even. It tells the story of change of personalities and change of hearts through the lives of Cal (fantastic Steve Carrell) and Jacob (very sexy Ryan Gosling). Shoddy, boring, Cal, in his mid-forties is going through a divorce with his childhood sweetheart Emily (Julianne Moore) and meets sauve, stylish women’s man Jacob at a bar. Jacob decides to take the heart-broken Cal under his wings and help him rediscover his ‘manhood’, make him more interesting and thus, win his wife back. Cal, with little choice anyways, decides to go along with it.
Meanwhile, Jacob meets Hannah and falls in love. His whole world changes and along with it, his personality. He didn’t want it but that’s what love does to you, doesn’t it? Or so Hollywood would have you believe, anyways.
Meanwhile, there is Cal’s 13 yr-old son Robbie in love with his 17 yr-old baby-sitter Jessica and she in turn crushing on Cal. Emily is busy avoiding an ex-fling at work, the reason she decided to divorce Cal in the first place because her love for Cal is eternal. There is simply too much love in one place.
But this love doesn’t go deep enough for the viewer. We know everyone loves everyone but we end up asking, so what? The film dramatically proclaims the cause of fighting for one’s soul mate but shows Cal hardly doing anything to win Emily back. Except a piddling speech at his son’s 8th grade graduation masquerading as the defining climax. The climax is such a done-to-death and illogical scenario that it kills all the promise of the first half, that built steadily and beautifully even.
It is interesting to watch a ‘male’ makeover, make-overs being such a female thing in movies. Especially in a film that has its dapper protagonist spend all his time and talents objectifying the female sex. It is a simply made film, light-hearted with nothing grand or fancy about it. The settings are ordinary and there is no attempt to glamorize or de-glamorize anything for the sake of it. The contrast between Cal and Jacob’s world make for fun-filled moments, but then, the film comes down to doing the real job, of selling love, and it falters.
Little moments, and non-stereotyped characters keep the fun going. But then love comes in, with its centuries old baggage of stereotypes and all we are left with is Steve Carrell’s brilliant performance, Ryan Gosling’s delectable charisma that simply cannot mask his vulnerability and the fact that Cal keeps claiming about Emily – Julianne Moore really is so sexy and cute, at the same time, even at this age. Nothing more.