Crazy, Stupid, Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love

(M) Steve Carell, Julianne Moore

A dramedy about how not be complacent in your marriage, this refreshing film dives straight into a marriage in trouble and spends two fascinating hours working through the minutiae and nature of relationships.

At forty-something Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) has been married to his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) for 25 years.

The film begins with Cal’s wife casually announcing that she wants a divorce over dinner. His carefully organised life goes into freefall when she announces she has had a casual affair with a workmate.

Cal, now thrust into the world of dating, is hopelessly out of his depth until he meets thirty-something Lothario and barfly Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who resolves to help him re-enter the world of dating.

Meanwhile, Carell’s 13-year-old son Robbie, played by Jonah Bobo, is in love with his 17-year-old babysitter, who in turn has a crush of her own.

Kevin Bacon plays Moore’s officemate, with whom she slept before deciding on the divorce, and Marisa Tomei is Carell’s new lover.

Refreshingly well-written and more thoughtful than your average rom-com or gross-out comedy like The Hangover, this is reminiscent of Carell’s other comedies Dan in Real Life and Date Night.

As the central couple, Carell and Moore play their scenes honestly and believably, and none of their scenes are played for broad laughs. Instead, wryly observed scenes are both poignant and delightful.

They affirm the nature of marriage even while the characters are struggling to keep their relationships together.

Steve Carell is making a career with these more thoughtful roles and his everyman persona only enhances his appeal.

The stellar cast is really this film’s secret weapon. There isn’t a dud and even womanising Ryan Gosling has his moment of redemption while almost stealing the show. His scenes with Emma Stone are among the funniest in the film.

Crazy Stupid Love’s most convincing argument, despite the synopsis, ends up coming out on the side of monogamy — something to wholeheartedly recommend.

Adrian Drayton

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