Amidst the Summer blockbusters, it’s nice to get a clever, sweet and sentimental relationship film made for mature adults.
- Who's going to like it: anyone 17 or older who is or has been in a serious relationship.
Note: Despite the film’s title ending with a period, I’m going to simple call it “Crazy Stupid Love” so that nobody gets grammatically confused.
Cal (Steve Carell, The Office) is losing his wife Emily (Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right). After nearly 25 years of marriage, she wants a divorce. As B.B. King sang, the thrill is gone. They never talk anymore. They are simply going through the motions. The lack of communication, affection and attention has caused Emily to seek for it outside their marriage. To fill the void and try to feel needed and wanted, she slept with a co-worker (Kevin Bacon, X-Men: First Class) once.
Being Emily’s decision, Cal has no say in the matter. He hasn’t done anything wrong, he simply hasn’t done anything. He hasn’t done anything to keep her love. His lazy sin of omission is making itself apparent and he must learn to live with it.
The two young children handle the divorce fairly well. Their youngest girl goes with the flow, but their love-sick romantic teenage son Robbie tries to inspire a defense mechanism in Cal that will cause him to put up a fight and win Emily back. As Robbie believes that his parents still stand a chance, he begins to equally fight for the heart of his teenage crush.
Deeply depressed and reeking of self-pity, Cal takes to drinking nightly at a nearby upscale bar. His low demeanor earns the attention of a suave, wealthy young playboy named Jacob (Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine). Reminding him of somebody he used to know, Jacob takes Cal under his pimped out wing for “player training.” For the first time in his life, Cal truly learns to live and experience life, but is somewhat torn. He misses his old life. He misses Emily. And he wishes he had them back. As Cal’s moral standards lower, frequent one-night-stander Jacob ups his standards as he becomes romantically involved with a “game-changer” (Emma Stone, Easy A).
There’s a little something in Crazy Stupid Love for every couple. Young unmarried couples will enjoy the budding romance between Gosling and Stone. Recently married couples will get a clear sense of how seriously marriage should be handled, viewing Crazy Stupid Love as a cautionary morality tale. Well established healthy married couples with walk away with a sense of security, feeling lucky to be in the position they are. And troubled married couples will find inspiration – the inspiration to put up a fight to keep their marriages alive. For them, watching the Gosling/Stone relationship will remind them of what they once had and can have again if they but stick it out and put forth effort. Crazy Stupid Love is an energetically rejuvenating film that holds the power to help, guide, heal and inspire. Call me sappy, but I truly believe it.
Almost everything I have said would lead one to the conclusion that Crazy Stupid Love is a heavy film. In reality, it’s a light film that tastefully touches upon heavy elements. Never once does it get so heavy or dark that you stop having fun. Instead, Crazy Stupid Love is non-stop entertaining. It’s fun, refreshing and unique – a perfect date movie.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.
(4 out of 5)