Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Crazy Stupid Love PosterRating: ★★★★☆

There’s a sad routine going on with romantic comedies nowadays. Bad ones, like “Life as We Know It”, enjoy a wide release and a fat box office, while good ones, like “Flipped”, remain unknown to many. But then, to our surprise, we are introduced to “Crazy, Stupid, Love”. Here is a romantic comedy written with intelligence, driven by its story, and delivered with actors who are both competent and charming. And, what do you know, people actually know about it.

The movie is about a set of individuals who have, in their own personal way, lost track of true love. A few of them may have never even experienced it in the first place, but their story is about how they get there. Let me tell you about them real quick. Cal and Emily Weaver (Steve Carrell and Julianne Moore) are a middle-aged couple whose marriage has hit a major bump. Emily has confessed to being guilty with adultery, and is now requesting for a divorce.

Cal, in obvious shock, is swift to break the news to his children. Most affected is 13-year-old Robbie, who is in the middle of his quest of winning the heart of his 17-year-old baby sitter, Jessica. Kids, at the height of their hormones, can be relentless in their romantic pursuits. There is a lot of comedy between their encounters.

Cal and Jacob

Meanwhile, Cal has chosen to channel his sorrow inside a bar, ranting about his miserable life to total strangers. This is unproductive for Cal of course, until his rants are overheard by Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a pickup artist who knows how to get a girl uhm, well, you name it. Jacob offers Cal a makeover that could possibly help Cal win Emily back. He accepts, and the two develop a relationship so blunt and wacky, we can almost compare them to the man-couple in “I Love You, Man.”

After Cal receives Jacob’s approval, he returns to fight for Emily. This is when “Crazy, Stupid, Love” adapts a dramatic quality. Giving in to the story is the part where most rom-coms start to fail, assuming that the comedy hasn’t failed already. But then, to our surprise, the drama is in place. The characters in this movie are “real people”, some of whom we have met before.

Maybe we know a couple, like Cal and Emily, who are struggling in their marriage. Or maybe Robbie reminds us of our own young, relentless past. Or maybe we’ve been in Jacob’s shoes before, who have gotten used to shallow relationships, until we meet The One.

These people feel emotions that are reasonable and suffer consequences that are realistic. Unlike most rom-coms, the characters make mistakes not because they’re stupid, but because they’re human.

One thing I first thought was an unnecessary element to the film was the romance soon developed by Jacob and a pretty girl named Hannah (Emma Stone). For box office reasons, it’s safer to include a Hot Young Couple in the story, especially when you end the trailer with a shot of Ryan Gosling’s abs. But no, I was wrong. Hollywood nowadays seems to always sexualize the romance between Hot Young Couples, but there is a language of love between Jacob and Hannah that astounded me. Appreciate it, for it will not last long. For example, the next Twilight movie opens November 18, 2011.

Comments

  1. I wanna watch this, but I care too much about my reputation to watch it in the cinema. :)

  2. Great review! I thought this was an amazing movie and a great duo with Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling.

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Crazy, Stupid, Love.