Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

2011, PG-13, 118 min. Directed by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa. Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Jonah Bobo, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Analeigh Tipton, John Carroll Lynch.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., July 29, 2011

A few contrivances too many make this otherwise appealing romantic comedy seem occasionally ungainly, yet its sensational cast manages to breezily flick away most distractions. Crazy, Stupid, Love. is directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the team that directed I Love You Phillip Morris and wrote Bad Santa, so we know from the get-go that the helmsmen share delightfully skewed sensibilities. This new film is not nearly as demented as either of those efforts if only because its characters are less hyperbolic and more down to earth. As Cal Weaver, the character at the center of this love storm, Carell delivers more a dramatic turn than straight-out laughs, although the mere demeanor of his confused everyman always packs a chuckle or two. In the film’s opening scene, Cal’s wife of more than 25 years, Emily (Moore), informs him that she wants a divorce and that she has cheated on him with a colleague. Gobsmacked by the news, Cal moves out of their house and into a midlife tailspin, feeling like both a cuckolded schnook and a man who is still deeply in love with his wife and family. While moping over his misfortune at a singles bar, he is inexplicably taken in hand by the resident Lothario, Jacob (Gosling, magnificent in this rare comedic turn), who makes over Cal’s schlumpy attire and stale pickup lines in his own image. As good as Gosling is as Jacob, it still makes no sense that this self-serving narcissist would bother himself making over a guy like Cal. Several other love stories circulate around the broken marriage of Cal and Emily, not the least of which is the infatuation of their 13-year-old son (Bobo) with his babysitter (Tipton), who in turn starts to crush on the made-over Cal. As usual, Marisa Tomei steals all her scenes, and Emma Stone demonstrates that she is one of the greats among the rising generation of actors. There’s nothing, however, that can explain why Cal wears eyeglasses in the film’s opening scene although they’re never to be seen again, and only screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Tangled) can explain the film’s awkward punctuation. The goopy climax at a junior-high graduation ceremony threatens to undo much of the good will that Crazy, Stupid, Love. has accrued up until that point, but maybe it’s simply an example of the “stupid” part of the story. Still, as far as nonraunchy, adult-geared rom-coms go these days, Crazy, Stupid, Love. leads the pack by several heads.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Glenn Ficarra Films
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Tina Fey becomes a war correspondent in her new comedy

Marjorie Baumgarten, March 11, 2016

Will Smith is a con man compromised by the reappearance of his shady ex.

Kimberley Jones, March 6, 2015

More by Marjorie Baumgarten
I Love My Dad
Patton Oswalt embraces the cringe in a comedy of terrible parenting

Aug. 5, 2022

The French
Astounding record of life on and off court in tennis's glory years

June 17, 2022


Crazy, Stupid, Love., Glenn Ficarra, John Requa, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Jonah Bobo, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Analeigh Tipton, John Carroll Lynch

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle