Crazy Stupid Love stars Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone. Steve’s character, Cal is married to his high school sweetheart played by Julianne Moore and thinks he’s living the dream with her and their kids. But he is soon taken by surprise one night when she asks him for a divorce after having cheated on him with someone from work (Kevin Bacon).
Cal starts hanging out at his local bar and realises he knows nothing about navigating through life as a single guy. This is where we meet Ryan Gosling’s character, Jacob, who is basically a professional bachelor. Jacob can’t watch Cal make a fool of himself any longer and offers him help to: “regain his manhood”, as he puts it. After his makeover Cal is almost a new man, but not quite ready for the bar scene. Jacob teaches him how to pick up women and within a few nights (or so it seems in the world of movie editing), he becomes the master.
While all this is happening we also have Cal’s 13 year old son, Robbie who is trying to make his babysitter, Jessica (who is 4 years older than him), realise that they are perfect for each other, all while she is actually crushing on Cal! It’s quite funny that most of the film’s love advice actually comes from Robbie. And while this is happening we also have Emma Stone’s character, Hannah, whose life is “PG-13” as her friend puts it, and isn’t quite happy with her current boyfriend. Although she doesn’t fall for Jacob’s lines, she still wants to give him a go, but ends up falling for him – and strangely for Jacob, so does he. Now I can’t give away much more, because the film really comes together for quite a hilarious climax after this.
Now, it’s not quite Love, Actually but the intertwining stories work quite well together I thought. I love Steve Carell, I think this was one of his best, probably because the movie is more of a comedy/drama than straight comedy. Ryan Gosling was great in his first comedic role – which he actually chose to do because after filming Blue Valentine he had to get a physical from his doctor and he gave Ryan a prescription which said: do a comedy. He was perfect as Jacob, and both he and Carell are really charming actors and people I think, and they worked really well together. Emma Stone is always great, I’ve never been disappointed with her, and I think it’s great that she’s having so much success, because she’s not your average leading lady. The casting in this movie is what really brought it together I think, if they had had a different cast, it just wouldn’t have worked as well and probably would have fallen flat. They all had really great chemistry together.
I loved the way they made fun of the genre a little bit, not so much to the extent that Friends with Benefits did; they did it in a smarter way I think. I really enjoyed this movie because it did have its serious elements but the tension was always broken with something really funny. I give it a 4/5!