Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Crazy, Stupid, Love." (2011) - Movie Review

“Crazy, Stupid, Love.” is a big tease. Not that it promises through the good cast and fails it rather has well developed, well acted and well executed scenes put as a pit stop throughout the film giving hope and after hope and succumbing to dramatization. It is an independent rom-com for dummies and that is insulting to the audience in a way. The complex phenomenon of love is the center of this family drama that soars high and hits the bottom with sufficient ease is that there forms a rhythm that might be mistaken for consistency.

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is the middle aged man formulated by the cookie cutter for suburban well to do person who forgot to be interesting. His wife Emily (Julianne Moore) asks for divorce in the middle of a dinner date and this unexpected outcome of a perfected boring marriage astonishes him. His reaction is to compress, suppress and tighten the hate, frustration and anger inside him only to come out through his eyes. The ugliness of this break up skips fast either through time or the film makes it appears so that Cal moves out and pantomimes in a club to himself on the man David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon) broke up his marriage. His sadness is taking control of him as he is desperately looking for a soul for empathy.

In comes Jacon (Ryan Gosling), a charming womanizer annoyed and little saddened by this adult hitting rock bottom with loudness that he offers to help, to relive the manhood he has lost long back. The make over begins and the film utilizes the comedy of this transformation. Gosling as usual is in control of his character who oozes and drips confidence as he walks by to take total control over the beautiful girls begging to be dominated. Carell as Call and as regular chump is of course startled and amazed of seeing the legend every one talks in films and books. You know where this is heading and it is exactly where it is going. Soon the roles reverse, the love finds, the meanings blossom, happiness and sadness looms and merry around as it is pleased by the screenplay of Dan Fogelman.

“Crazy, Stupid, Love.” is a good film and discusses the complexity of this emotion ever evolving and never getting old as the age progresses. In fact it is more important to rejuvenate the romance in a relationship especially life seems ordinary. Cal’s thirteen year old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is in love too with the seventeen year old high school girl Jessica Riley (Analeigh Tipton) who then is infatuated towards Cal. Robbie profusely expresses his love to her and of course Jessica squirms in uncomfortableness. Time and again the idea of “not giving up” for soul mate is brought up though it borders to stalking and creepiness.

Oh there is Emma Stone too as Hannah, the girl who likes the idea of a sweet man in her boyfriend to build a family than actually loving him. All these people are woven by the obviousness of the emotion and fighting to deal with it. While this sounds inviting and juicy enough for the people to be inherently dysfunctional when it comes to expressing their feelings, it dives in the unnecessary overblown drama. Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have a good cast and a good story that gets the magic it needs but it seem to be obligated in satisfying the petty expectation of an audience looking for easy settlement through awkward speeches in a crowded place and series of punches and group fighting.

You know the film has more potential than it actually projects whenever Steve Carell and Julianne Moore talk about their son and when Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell have a reasonable adult moment in dealing with the tough situation concerning each of their characters. It seems to be the nature of the beast in the stupidity of romantic comedy for a scene staged for a huge group of people present to witness the drama happening in a family. Why is it such an important theme to have an audience during a personal moment? Out here Cal interrupts his son’s depressing speech in the graduation and makes it into a lecture in love. He could have done it in person instead the screenplay makes his son and himself to be unnecessarily emotional. “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” has few moments which make up for the entire film but it is a talent wasted in vain. That is a shame.

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