Friday, 29 July 2011 14:27

Crazy, Stupid, Love Featured

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Warner Bros. Pictures and Carousel Productions present a 118 minute, PG-13 comedy, romance, drama directed by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa and written by Dan Fogelman with a release date of July 29, 2011.

 

I can’t quite say that the title of the film means that love is crazy and stupid or that just in general the world is full of crazy people doing stupid things when in love.  I tend to go more so with the fact that the majority of people these days in life are truly crazy whether in or out of love.

One night at dinner, Emily (Julianne Moore), out loud in a public restaurant tells her husband Cal (Steve Carell) that she wants a divorce.  Married for almost twenty five years you can only imagine what the car ride home was like, especially after Emily admits to sleeping with a co-worker, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon).  Remember that name since throughout the film no one else does!  Well Cal doesn’t remain in the car the whole ride but he does make it home where he informs the babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) that his wife Emily is leaving him.  Little does Cal know that Jessica is in love with him but Robbie (Jonah Bobo) Cal’s son is in love with Jessica.  Sounds a bit confusing but it’s really not, a matter of fact it makes the story a bit more interesting especially since Cal has no idea about Jessica’s feelings but she knows of Robbie’s feelings since she walked in on him masturbating, he later professed his love to her.  Sound more confusing?  It really isn’t since the writers really do an excellent job of developing the characters.

Moving on to a sub-plot in the story Hannah (Emma Stone) tells her best friend Liz (Liza Lapira), very funny supporting character, that she hopes the good news coming her way from her boyfriend Richard (Josh Groban), small part but important since it throws her into the arms of another man, is that she thinks he is going to propose to her.  Ah wrong!  So now Hannah trots off to another bar where she knows Jacob (Ryan Gosling) is at and demands after a long dripping wet kiss that she wants him to take her home for unadulterated sex.  You see Jacob is a stud, dresses impeccable, and knows exactly how to titillate a woman’s sex drive and it may involve a little dirty dancing, so to speak!  But for some the importance of discovery may be a little pillow talk and less about the fast and furious no names act of intercourse.

Ok so back to Cal, alone moved out of the house and into an apartment he happens to meet up with Jacob in a local bar.  Jacob like everyone else in the bar has heard Cal’s sob story about his wife Emily sleeping with another man.  He decides to take Cal under his wing to do a complete make-over on him, basically turning Cal into the mold of a knock off Jacob.  It’s kind of like a moment in “Pretty Woman” where Julia Roberts goes on a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive except Cal is not as pretty.  Although he definitely did need a complete and I mean complete make-over.  Some people like the whole baggy old jeans, sneakers, over-sized jacket, Velcro wallet, and 70’s hair cut kind of look.  But most don’t!  But hey to each their own!  In the end, Cal has done a complete turn-about.  Attracting women is no longer an issue especially after his first conquest with Kate (Marisa Tomei) one wild and sexy five week sober Gregory Heights middle school English teacher that absolutely excites over honesty.  Ironically Kate is teaching her class the Scarlett Letter of which was the topic of the film that Emma Stone starred in a while back called “Easy A”.  So Cal has found his mojo and his lineup of women exceeds his expectations even though deep down inside he yearns for his true soul mate, Emily.

Emily by the way is the associate to the Vice President at work, not sure if she is going through a mid-life crisis at the age of forty four and questions in her heart if she is doing the right thing.  Maybe her sleeping with Richard from work was just a coping mechanism to other issues.  Either way she did cheat and she still continues to spend time with him outside of work.  Makes one wonder what ever happened to the sanctity of marriage.  Does the word monogamy no longer exist in the human language?

There are many interesting moments and relationships that lace themselves throughout the story.  When Cal becomes friends with Jacob, Jacob goes home with Hannah, Emily sleeping with David, Robbie in love with Jessica, Jessica in love with Cal, Bernie (John Carroll Lynch) out to kill Cal for sleeping with Jessica, so he thought, Kate teaching Robbie the Scarlett Letter, actually the only actor not being a player in this romantic twist is Cal’s daughter Molly (Joey King), most likely since she’s still a child. 

It’s interesting to see how this well directed and written story plays out amongst all the characters in a very real and imaginable sense tying all the sub-stories together and making them one.  Sometimes in life we think we’re happy but we’re not!  Sometimes we think we want more but we later discover it was what we really wanted in the first place.  But it’s too late!  Why do people after so many years together break up?  Is it really so important to be back in the single’s scene again?  The grass is not always greener on the other side!  But sometimes it takes a good lawn care to make one really see what’s most important in life!  Sometimes it comes down to fighting for the one you love especially when you know in your heart they are the one true soul mate.  Maybe that mistake of going downtown for 45 minutes should be kept in confidence between intimate strangers!  Or it should have never happened in the first place!  Sometimes life is not all about the PG-13 but more so falling on the line of an R rating.  Ultimately it ends up being a small world after all with so many secrets revealed within the Weaver family.  In the end, the final motto being “go big or go home”.   

 A great cast really makes this film come alive.  The premise has been done many times and I thought it was going to be a bit more slapstick but the writers and directors did a nice job of adding a balanced amount of elements of comedy and romance threaded throughout the dramatic story.  I found myself waiting for Carell to turn into one of the stooges but even though he showed his comedic side a few times it was his ability to project a dramatic actor that worked for him in this role.  Moore of course did a terrific job making the audience feel like a voyeur looking in on her family life.  Stone is just plain superb controlling her scenes and making the audience direct their attention on her that is of course unless Gosling has his shirt off.  He by the way was perfect in this role and believable from start to finish projecting the personality of so many men in the single world afraid of the word ‘commitment’.  Bobo has a surprisingly large role and does a terrific job as the thirteen year old on a quest to win the love of a seventeen year old.  Groban although a small part can do no wrong for me since he is truly my favorite vocal artist in the country.  Tipton falls a bit flat for me but does a decent job juggling the role of a love sick babysitter caught within the lover’s triangle of the Weaver family men.  Last but no least Tomei is phenomenal and totally owns her moments in this film although they may be small they speak volumes.  No animals stand out in this film, not even the non-existent family dog which would have been an interesting character for the family to argue over in the mist of divorce.  Overall it’s a more dramatic than comedic film that reflects the values of today’s family life in the middle of a divorce.  Written with two and half paws out of four by Jon Patch.

Read 8110 times Last modified on Friday, 29 July 2011 14:46
Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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