REVIEW: Crazy Stupid Love

Throughout the majority of this generation, there have been many romantic stories that have turned out what we weren’t expecting, and have become a fine accomplishment that will entertain the audience in many emotional ways. Considering that there were already high expectations for the film due to the impressive ensemble cast and intriguing dialogue, the outcome was that it was filled with plenty of laughs, delight and heartbreak that exposes a powerful message and lesson to its audience watching. In most recent memory there have been quite a few films like Crazy Stupid Love that have managed to achieve this and as a result, have gained a few Academy Award wins and nominations (Little Miss Sunshine, Juno and The Kids Are All Right are examples). So I’m glad to say that it deserves its rightful place alongside those other films. 

Although Crazy Stupid Love is widely known as a romantic-comedy, when you watch the film and deeply understand what’s going on, it appears to be a romantic-drama on occasions. Sure, there are some pretty hilarious moments, especially from Carell, but most recently with films like this, they are sometimes too serious or too depressing to be humourous. This is not a flaw in the slightest, but there are more dramatic and controversial events within the film than there are funny and humourous ones. So personally, I’d call it more a romantic-drama than a romantic-comedy. The story has many threads and quite a numerous amount of characters where they are all connected somehow (like Love Actually and Valentine’s Day), but one of the most important messages within the film was to show how different love is for couples and for people who are single.

There are a very low number of actors within the film industry that fit brilliantly for comedies and for dramas, but only until Crazy Stupid Love’s release, Steve Carell has now joined the ranks of actors who are in that small list. As for his performance as Cal Weaver, he gives us a performance that is slightly similar to what we have seen from him in the past. However, at the same time, Carell delivers a performance that has perhaps become a breakthrough in his career, and has shown us a more serious side to him as an actor. On small doses, the character of Cal takes us back down memory lane to when Carell gave his universally acclaimed performance in The 40 Year Old Virgin, as Cal has similar characteristics. Because his performance was so heartfelt, genuine and all-round inspiring, reluctantly Steve Carell deserves a shot at the top awards this year (perhaps not an Oscar nomination, but a contender for a Golden Globe or a Critics Choice Award nomination). So, to date, this is easily Steve Carell’s best role. Julianne Moore has in most recent years starred in a lot of Oscar-nominated films where she becomes a strong contender for Best Actress nominations after great performances. As far as her role as Emily in this film is concerned, she was very impressive and gave a very emotional performance as she explicitly demonstrates a good and committed mother but at the same time, in a mid-life crisis regarding love life. The chemistry between Carell and Moore on-screen was so strong that they felt like real-life husband and wife, and you are there feeling and understanding their troubles.

Admittedly not seeing many films starring Ryan Gosling, this was almost like an starting experiment to see what he is like on-screen. Gosling fits perfectly into the role of Jacob as he expresses his own charms to the screen and gives an analysis of what ladies’ men are and what the positives and negatives are of his nature. So, despite having already been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in Half Nelson and appearing in what could have been another breakthrough role, he is still one of the most underrated young actors of this generation. After already been welcomed into Hollywood with open arms in Easy A, Zombieland and The Help, Emma Stone joins the ranks in a supporting role as she portrays young lawyer Hannah who has quite a quite jaded outlook on love. Stone really is becoming a shining star and brings forth a performance that is just showing what she can do best, and that she is getting even better as more films are being released. Marisa Tomei makes a mild appearance in the film as well as alcoholic schoolteacher and gives a very funny and rather fierce performance. Once being the young child in Zathura who is now blossoming into a young man who could make himself worthy as one of the best child actors of this generation, Jonah Bobo literally blew me away as Robbie. The close bond between Bobo and Carell on-screen felt like a real father-son connection and together they indicate the true meaning of love and how far one would really go for the one they love.

Considering that the impressive ensemble cast and their performances make this film a successful is one thing, but the makers behind the camera also deserve the critical acclaim. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa made themselves notable after working together on 2009 romantic-comedy I Love You Phillip Morris, and now after two years, they reunite and go back to their traditional theme choice to craft a film with new meanings and kinds of characters. Once again, they deliver spectacularly, but even more than they did before and perhaps gain a few Oscar nominations in the near future for their work. After spending the majority of his career as a co-writer, especially in Disney films such as Cars, Bolt and Tangled, Dan Fogelman goes on to write a new film alone and succeeds admirably. It truly could have been an incredibly corny script due to the large number of characters and certain events, but Fogelman sticks to the originality of the genre by telling separate stories from each character and merging them towards the end and putting a grin on its viewer’s faces. Fogelman deserves to be a strong contender for Best Original Screenplay at the 84th Academy Awards coming up and the film should garner Best Musical/Comedy at the Golden Globes too.

Overall, Crazy Stupid Love is an outstanding romantic comedy-drama that is remarkably one of the best films of 2011 and makes it’s mark as one of the most inspirational films that have come out in recent memory. After already expecting a lot from it, Crazy Stupid Love thankfully doesn’t fall into those dumb, plain, predictable and empty romantic-comedies, but turns out one that genuinely creative, heartfelt and quite unpredictable on a few occasions, which is what we have. So it has and does everything that you’d expect from it: it’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry and most of all – it’ll entertain you. 

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~ by SJMJ91 on 15/05/2012.

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