Crazy, Stupid, Love
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Cast: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Marissa Tomei, Emma Stone, Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, Joey King, Kevin Bacon
Synopsis: Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have the perfect life together living the American dream... until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Make that a lot of help...
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for coarse humor, sexual content and language
You Should Never Give Up On Your Soul Mate...
After seeing this movie, it reminds a lot of what one character said in the "Matrix Reloaded" about how love and insanity can often share the same traits. Well, this movie kind of reconfirms that theory in a nutshell. As a wise man once said, love can make us do crazy and stupid things sometimes. Love is perhaps one of the hardest things to obtain in life, and it's often the hardest thing to hold onto as well once you attain it. However, as one of the characters in this movie is always quick to point out, "You should never give up on your soul mate." Gee, somebody must be a hopeless romantic, huh? However, that does raise a few questions.
What if your alleged soul mate was dating someone else? Do you still pursue them? Or what if your soul mate is older than you are, and they think of you as nothing more than a child? Do you still desire them? What if your soul mate's parents don't like you? Will that stop you? Or most of all, what if your soul mate just doesn't love you...or they're not sure if they love you back... Do you give up on them? To be honest, I don't know the answers to any of these questions, as I have none to give anyone. What I will say to my readers is this, the matters of what the heart wants resides in each individual, as I can't answer that question for anyone else. If you truly love someone, then you shouldn't give up so easily on them. However, the sad reality of life is that no matter how hard we try, or love someone, there's never a guarantee you'll end up with the person you want, nor is there ever a promise that your lover will always want to be with you. In life, there's never a guarantee about anything. Therefore, when do you give up on your soul mate? How do you know if a person is your soul mate? And even if you could give up on your soul mate, then why should we?
Sure, I'll be the first to admit that "Crazy, Stupid, Love" can be a bit cheesy at times, and it can be a little stupid too; just like all romantic comedies in general. But, as hokey and corny as this film tends to get, it does bring up a lot of interesting themes in regards to love. Sure, you don't have to agree with it, but it does raise a lot of valid points about how far should we go to pursue the person that we love. Or, how far any of us would go to be with the person of our dreams. Whether we should try to move on once a relationship comes to an end, or keep fighting to win back the person we love the most. As I said earlier, I can't answer that for anyone else, but the questions that "Crazy, Stupid, Love" forces upon us is worth thinking about. Just how far would you go to be with your soul mate? Or any of us for that matter?
The story follows a married couple that have been together for several years, and have managed to raise a family together. Unfortunately, like some marriages, Cal (Steve Carell) takes his family for granted; which prompts his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), to have an affair with one of her co-workers, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon), while kicking poor Cal to the curb. Not an easy decision, as she still harbors feelings for Cal. Yet, Cal is unable to express how he truly feels for her, as she's literally the only girl that he's ever dated in his entire life. However, once it's over, he tries to move on like she wants him to. Hitting on girls at a singles bar with little to no success at all. From here, Cal meets a young player in the prime of his life named Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who makes hitting on girls seem like child's play. After seeing Cal pathetically make an a** out of himself every night since his separation, Jacob takes him under his wing to try to make a ladies' man out of him; which is easier said than done. However, as the film plays out, Steve Carell manages to make his character's transformation both believable and plausible, as you can literally see him go from a socially inept family man around women to a pure ladies' man in a heart beat.
Unfortunately, one of the ladies he sleeps with happens to be his son's teacher, and this doesn't exactly bode well when he tries win back his wife later on either. To make matters worse, the seventeen year old babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), that Cal and Emily hire to watch over the kids all the time, well...she has a huge crush on Cal. Which leads her to trying to woo him on the rebound, but there's another problem besides her age. No, Cal doesn't become a pedophile in this movie if that's what you're worried about, but this does complicate things later on. As it turns out, Cal's thirteen year old son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), is in love with his own babysitter; hence another dilemma. Wow, this film has more dilemmas than a day time soap opera.
As I mentioned earlier, you don't have to agree with many of the concepts this film plays upon, but it does raise a lot of valid points about how far we should go for love. Whether we should pursue our alleged soul mates forever even if the possibility of them loving us back is slim? Or at what point do we try to move on? Unfortunately, the movie does end abruptly on this note with very little closure to any of our character's problems, but it does offer plenty of plot twists and character development to keep the audiences' attention.
Another great thing about this movie is that unlike most romantic comedies that tend to favor stereotypical characters, this one offers various layered ones that you can never bring yourself to hate. Hell, even David Lindhagen isn't portrayed as a douche bag like some would figure; especially since he is partially responsible for our lead protagonist breaking up with his wife. Yet, in the film, he's portrayed as being genuinely a nice guy that deeply loves Emily for who she is; while Emily is seen as a woman that still loves her husband, but she isn't sure if things will ever be the same again between them. Indeed, none of the characters in this movie are necessarily bad. Sure, some might do bad things, but you can still feel inner sense of good in each of them in spite of their mistakes and shortcomings.
Overall, I wouldn't say this is one of the best romantic comedies that I've ever seen, but it's definitely one of the better ones out there. Unlike most that will typically settle for the same tired out cliches, "Crazy, Stupid, Love" dares to be different with it's philosophical approach to the whole ideal of love in general. In the end, I'd have to give this movie a three out of four. It's definitely worth a rental if you have a chance to see this, but I wouldn't pay to this one in a theater.