‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ Makes You Feel None of the Three

Summer rarely has much for fans of the romantic comedy genre. Crazy, Stupid, Love is a nice breath of fresh air for the season full of superheroes, aliens, and hangovers, but it isn’t a breath for the genre all together.

It has a great cast but only a few of them are used to their full potential. Steve Carell looks disappointingly bored here. The movie starts with him being depressed and even though the ending is upbeat few things seem to have changed within his character. Julianne Moore is good as usual and the movie gives her a few good scenes to show off her acting chops. Ryan Gosling is the true star of the movie however. He is charming, funny, and has great chemistry with Emma Stone. Speaking of Stone, she’s good here but underutilized. She really only becomes important half way through the movie. Marissa Tomei and Kevin Bacon have small roles but they both achieve what the plot demands of them. Tomei is particularly great. Also, the young actor, Jonah Bobo, who plays Carell’s son is fantastic. He has a bright career ahead of him in acting.

The story appears to be simple but ends up being more convoluted than you expect from this type of movie, and that is both a strength and a weakness. The beginning of the movie has a lot of seemingly unrelated characters each of whom have an important role for the overall plot. This leads to too many plots to keep track of. All of them get about the same amount of screen time so you have to rely on star caliber to figure out which is the most important. It is really unfortunate because if any one of the four or so plot threads had been taken out, the movie would have been much better. Luckily this only counts for the first half of the film.

There is a fantastic twist about two-thirds into Stupid, Crazy, Love. It really takes you by surprise and makes sense when you put the pieces together. The twist thankfully puts much of the story in perspective and allows for pretty much one focus for the rest of the film. The payoff is pretty good too.

Crazy, Stupid, Love won’t add anything to the romantic comedy genre but in a season where romance is hard to be found at the movies, its good to see this collection of strong actors make a film without ridiculous humor or explosions in the middle of July. It’s a perfect date movie if your girlfriend is sick of you taking her to superhero movies, but little else. (**1/2 out of 4)

photo credit: http://collider.com/crazy-stupid-love-movie-image/66092/

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~ by mattsmoviethoughts on July 30, 2011.

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