Sunday 31 July 2011

Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love.

I liked it. This is a good film. I laughed, I cried (figuratively) and I rooted at the end for true love. The term "soul mate" seems to transcend marital infidelity and even divorce. Gee, is the end really the end or is the end merely our inability to communicate?

This rom-com, romantic comedy, is slipping into the middle of the summer, the season of giant Hollywood mega-buck blockbusters. I can get excited like every video game saturated teenager at the sensory overload of special effects explosions but what really tugs at my heart strings is a good old fashioned story about human relations and that little thing called love. And here we have not a story of teenage love - no vampires or werewolves thank you very much - but a story of middle-aged love, a time of questioning of those wedding vow words of forever and until death do us part. When you're married, when you're stuck in the same old thing, when you have to face the routine day after day after day after day (okay, I've made my point), is everybody else having more fun than you? Does everybody have or is everybody else finding more meaning in their lives than you?

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) are high school sweethearts who have been married forever. We open with dinner at a restaurant as the two of them try to decide whether to have dessert or not. Finally, Cal says that they should just say what they want on a count of three. One, two, three: Cal says, "Crème brûlée" and Emily says, "I want a divorce." From there, hilarity ensues. However it is hilarity tinged with a nostalgia for one's soul mate. Cal as the newly single man navigates the treacherous waters of the pick-up scene thanks to the deft and knowledgeable hand of one Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a ladies' man extraordinaire who takes Cal under his wing. But interspersed with these scenes of Cal playing Joe Stud Muffin are Cal's clandestine nocturnal visits to his home where he prunes the bushes, waters the flowers and maintains the lawn of the home where his wife and children continue to live but without him. You realise that yes, Emily had an affair and yes, Cal is coming into his own at the bar picking up total strangers for various romps in the park, but somehow they realise that while the grass may appear to be greener on the other side of the fence, your own lawn with its history and the comfort of familiarity is the true meaning of life and love.

The story by Dan Fogelman is ace. I enjoyed the characters; I enjoyed the plot and the various comic situations were quite amusing. The grand finale where the relationship between all the players is tied together I found funny. A romantic comedy is a formula and how many twists on this standard story can anybody come up with? However I found this one to be original.

I throw this in as a curiosity. The trailer for the film ends with the 2006 song Starlight by Muse however this song is not used in the film. - Ah, how meaningful is it when you hear Cal say, "I should have fought for you."

Final Word
Yes, there is adultery. However these are good-hearted people merely trying to find their way in the world. And in the end, our two "soul mates" do find their way back to each other so we can definitely say that true love does rule the day. Now who can resist a story about true love?

This was a thoroughly enjoyable film. Since the central theme is about middle-aged love, this may be lost on a younger crowd but the theatre of middle-aged people (and older) who watched the film with me seemed to like it as well as I did. The various members of the cast were terrific and there are a number of surprises which will keep you entertained. I recommend seeing this film.


Rotten Tomatoes: Crazy, Stupid, Love.: 78%
It never lives up to the first part of its title, but Crazy, Stupid, Love's unabashed sweetness -- and its terrifically talented cast -- more than make up for its flaws.

Wikipedia: Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a 2011 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, written by Dan Fogelman, starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon. The film was released on July 29, 2011.

my blog: Muse: Starlight
"Starlight" ... can also be heard during the closing credits of the 2010 film The Tourist, starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp [and it] was used in the trailer for the new Steve Carell movie Crazy Stupid Love.


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