Crazy Stupid Love, featuring an all-star cast led by Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, marks its tenth anniversary since the 2011 theatrical release.
The film is formally titled Crazy, Stupid, Love but for SEO purposes, I’m dropping the commas.
Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) has been married to his high school sweetheart, Emily (Julianne Moore), for many years. Life comes crashing down when Emily reveals she cheated on him with David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). Alas, divorce is in the air and Cal starts hanging out at the bar. Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) soon takes Cal under his wing while giving him a makeover and teaching him to be a better man in the process. Is Cal ready to get back out there and start dating again? Or is he still in love with Emily?
As if love couldn’t be crazy enough in this film, Cal and Emily’s 13-year-old son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), has the hots for babysitter Jessica (Lio Tipton). But wait! Jessica actually crushes on Cal to the point in which she takes naked photos of herself. Her parents find the photos and well, you just have to see what happens for yourself!
Back to Jacob, his routine of taking home a different woman every night changes when Hannah (Emma Stone) storms into the bar. They back to his place and she gets Jacob to reveal his big secret (Dirty Dancing) as the night plays out. Meanwhile, the two of them start developing a relationship, which leaves Cal to fend for himself.
There’s a lot of romance going on to no surprise. The womanizing doesn’t age particularly well but it also finds a way to change both Cal and Jacob. It’s kind of funny to watch both become better men in the process. In some ways, the film offers just a hint of screwball comedy. In terms of the screenplay, Dan Fogelman explores relationships in a witty way. You name it, it’s there–parenting, marriage, and love at all levels. He does so in a way that blends storylines. If you’ve seen This is Us or Life Itself, it’s become something of a trademark for Fogelman.
What I remember the most about the film is the twist we never see coming. Honestly, it’s one of the best twists in cinema since The Empire Strikes Back. All these years later, the film’s twist works so beautifully. And of course, it’s followed by a fight because there’s hardly a way that you can top it. I mean, they already used an opportunity to have one of Cal’s dates be his son’s middle school teacher!
It would be a few years before Ryan Gosling saved jazz but Gosling and Emma Stone certainly have the on-screen chemistry. I don’t think they’ve done anything since La La Land but it would be nice to see them act in another film together. But also, seeing Gosling perform comedy as he does in this film was a revelation. We’re so used to watching him in dramas and he’s playing against type here! The filmmakers could have easily cast someone of a comedy background (I’m thinking maybe Ryan Reynolds) but it wouldn’t have been the same film. It’s hard to see anyone but Gosling after watching Gosling. He makes the role his own.
Crazy Stupid Love is able to succeed because of having relatable characters.
DIRECTORS: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
SCREENWRITER: Dan Fogelman
CAST: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Jonah Bobo, John Carroll Lynch, Lio Tipton, Josh Groban, with Marissa Tomei and Kevin Bacon, Liza Lapira, Joey King