LITTLE ROCK Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Josh Groban, Analeigh Tipton, Dan Butler
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
PG-13, for coarse humor, sexual content and language
Ryan Gosling is ripped, randy and risible in Crazy, Stupid, Love., an ensemble romantic farce that has the “serious” actor let his funny flag fly.
Yeah, it’s a Steve Carell comedy, sort of the dark, divorcing sequel to Date Night. But Gosling, Emma Stone and Marisa Tomei make this film from the directing duo who gave us I Love You Phillip Morris work. Most of the time.
Carell is Cal, a slovenly bore who thinks a polo shirt and sports jacket over rumpled khakis and cross-training shoes is appropriate date-night attire. He has just stopped trying. And Emily (Julianne Moore) has noticed. She dumps him in a crowded restaurant.
Cal shuts down. He’s in shock. So Emily fills the void with chatter, confessions. She has slept with someone else. “We haven’t been ‘us,’ not for a long time.”
Cal steps out of the moving car just to shut her up.
Hannah (Emma Stone) is a young lawyer-to-be, sitting in a bar as her snarky gal pal (Liza Lapira, hilarious) blasts her with “Your life is SO PG-13!”
That’s before Jacob (Gosling) slithers across the room and makes hismove. “Hannah, you’re really wearing that dress like you’re doing it a favor.”
She’s a lawyer? “Permission to approach the bench.” Yeah, he’s a cliche. But when you buy expensive drinks and let slip that you’re “a real tomcat in the sack,” well, plainly that gets results. Hannah may say “No” now, butJacob’s not hurting. All through the movie, we see him approach and alternately charm and insult gorgeous women - too much makeup earns one bombshell the instant nickname “fancy face.” He always finishes with “Let’s get outta here.” And Jacob always finishes.
The third set of characters we follow are the weakest. Cal’s 13-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) has a crush on the family baby sitter, the gawky 17-year-old Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). That’s not going anywhere. Jessica has a crush on Robbie’s dad.
Ewwwww. It’s not as icky as you might fear, but still, ewwww.
The best scenes come when Jacob takes pity on fellow barfly Cal and teaches him “the game.” He gives Cal a makeover and shows him how to get women’sattention, get them to talk about themselves and get them into bed.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. has a few quiet moments as we mourn the marriage that’s lost. But it follows those serious moments with serious tomfoolery - comical sexual encounters, Jacob’s way of slapping Cal to get his attention, the stupid things teenagers do to try and impress a member of the opposite sex.
So Crazy, Stupid, Love. overreaches. Too many issues are flirted with to be adequately addressed. Too many characters are followed to give everybody his due. It has a contrived and farcical climax and then directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa can’t resist staggering into a long anti-climax.
But as a Steve Carell comedy, it works. Surrounding him with people this funny pays off in big, crude laughs of the kind he hasn’t delivered since he was a 40-Year-Old Virgin.
MovieStyle, Pages 33 on 07/29/2011
Print Headline: Crazy, Stupid, Love.