Sunday, October 23, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

By s. Sunday, October 23, 2011 , , , , , , ,
(118 min, 2011)
Plot: Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have the perfect life together living the American dream... until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling).
Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Stars: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore

The only one?

I'm gonna sell this movie to you right here right now. Ready? It's the best romantic comedy since “Love Actually”. It's not as good, it's not as funny, but in the sea of mediocre comedies with the obligatory presence of 1) never ending swearing 2) marijuana 3) forced pro-family messages in the end so that nobody would accuse the film of being cheap and stupid, “Crazy stupid love” which doesn't have any of those things is a breath of fresh air.

You may not like Steve Carell, the departure of whom from “The Office” I still mourn, but he is the heart of this movie. He is very funny, easy to relate to and nothing he says, even if it's dangerously close to being sentimental sounds cheap. The movie has very odd pairing – it has Carell, who appeared in silly comedies for years now and Ryan Gosling, who does serious dramas, mostly indie ones. I have seen most of Gosling's movies and I would never suspect him of being capable of being that hilarious. He is. He is the true star of the movie – from the funny one liners to the continuous looks of disgust he gives Carell as he looks at his wardrobe and behavior, Gosling steals every scene from professional comedian Carrel. He also has this way about him – you see him picking up all those ladies and you don't question it. He is the kind of guy you would love to go home with.

The movie would be fine just with those two major actors but no, it doesn't end there. Cal's unfaithful wife is played with a lot of charm and wit by Julianne Moore, her lover – remember that name – David Lindhagen – is played by Kevin Bacon and whenever Bacon is not playing villains, trust me, you have to check this out. The film also features sensation of recent year Emma Stone. Stone is one of those actress who may become new Meg Ryan – she is sexy, she is cute and even if she isn't drop dead gorgeous you know it's so easy to fall in love with her. Her character Hanna is a love interest for Jacob. It's so lovely to see actual chemistry between actors on screen and its so rare to see convincing chemistry between two characters, so different from each other. It happens here. Hanna isn't interested in Jacob and then she picks him up just to hook up with him because she is upset. She is unlike anyone Jacob met – she keeps talking, she doesn't hide the fact she is nervous and she openly makes fun of him. And the magic happens – those two, instead of having a one night stand, keep talking, laughing, connecting. As different as they are, it works, because of how well we got to know their characters and how odd and unfamiliar the scene plays out. Hanna does all the things she is not supposed to do. And that's what so special about her. I also have to give praise to amazing kissing scene between Stone and Gosling, genuinely passionate, lovely and breathtaking.
As “Love Actually' the movie has many love stories between characters somehow connected to each other. Cal's son is in love with his babysitter, Jessica. And Jessica is in love with Cal. Cal loves Emily, Jacob loves Hanna...all those stories will find it's hilarious finale in the film's most amusing sequence taking place in front of Cal's and Emily's home. The movie is a mix of funny, hilarious, romantic and poignant scenes. There is a wonderful scene near the end where Cal and Jacob talk to each other. Each one of them is motivated by different, but very powerful kind of love and each has to say and do things to another that will hurt. Carell and Gosling really put their hearts in this scene.

While the film has its obligatory cliché moments – the heartwarming speech near the end, happy ending, conflict and its resolution just before the movie is over, there are two genuinely surprising twists – one of witch includes Marisa Tomei who in just few scenes she is in shows her almost forgotten comedy talent. And the ending – while happy is very realistic. Is there hope for Cal and Emily? They laugh, they talk, they connect. And as long as they do that, there is no way love can just vanish.