This movie can be placed in the “almost” category, everything is in place for something really special but when it came to closing the deal, they blinked. The film follows Cal(Steve Carell) is a simple and basic guy. We open on him eating dinner with his wife Emily(Julianne Moore) and she tells him she wants a divorce and that she cheated on him. He deflates basically. Having never been with any other woman than his wife, Cal is lost at a singles bar he continues to go to. That is until he is taken in Jacob(Ryan Gosling), who teaches him the ins and outs of the new dating game. Meanwhile, Jacob falls for a law-student named Hanna(Emma Stone) who is not very impressed with how he picks up women.
This film could easily stand alone on the actors it has in it. Both Carell and Gosling are very appealing here, as is the rest of the supporting cast. Emma Stone is just charming and is lining herself up in my opinion as the real next Julie Roberts in Hollywood. Julianne Moore doesn’t get a lot of screen time here, but when she does, she stands out. She is frankly always great in what she is in. Still beyond the cast Crazy Stupid Love could never make a decision on what type of film it is. Don’t get me wrong it is funny, the characters have charming moments. Yet when the film just starts feeling unique it gets weighed down by cliches and just nonsense.
Two other story lines in this film follow Carell and Moore’s children. A thirteen year old boy who is in love with the seventeen year old baby sitter. Problem is the baby sitter has a crush for the much older Cal. This story line continues to slow down and wreck an utterly charming film. First off I despise this cliche’d pointless move to have a young teen who “wise beyond his years”. We see this time and time again, it’s old, it’s boring, and seeing it here was a huge let down. Yet not seeing they were setting their boat aflame they continue to ram the kid down out throats.
The films biggest failure was simply blinking when they had a chance at something special. There is a twist in the final act which spices things up but still leads into the basic rom com direction… It’s just a shame and a waste. It reminds me how much I love the film The Breakup, starring Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn. That film was funny but never blinked, it was about a breakup and I know the ending pissed some people off but it was real and not cliche’d at all. Here Crazy Stupid Love blinks on several occasions which is a shame. I say that because the actors and the characters frankly are so great. It’s sad the story and plot lags behind them and simply never generates anything note worthy.
This is essentially the Spider-man 3 of rom-coms, just has too much going on. We care and like Carell and Gosling, Moore and Stone so much that jumping away from them to follow some cliche’d thirteen year old boys arch is overly frustrating. A lot like SP3 the film sets up something special and then kind of fumbles everything into an ending. I’d suggest seeing it due to the performances, but the plot and cliche’d rom-com devices will leave you wishing for more.