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Sunday, August 7, 2011


There are comedies, there are romantic comedies, there romantic comedies that are actually good, there are dramadies, and then there's Crazy, Stupid, Love which manages to find a piece of every single one of them.

Crazy, Stupid, Love is just the type of movie I love - movies that make me laugh at the dumb little things, and yet manage to find a way to actually be about something. It's is one of those movies where you are presented with a large cast of characters that all seem to intertwine in some minor way. Occasionally, this works great. Love, Actually still stands out to me as a great romantic comedy. But then you're faced with clunkers like Valentine's Day, and the upcoming New Year's Eve, and these movies just seem dumb. However, Crazy, Stupid, Love manages to pull this off very well, finally crescendoing in a Monty Python-esque routine. Somehow, it works well.

The key to Crazy, Stupid, Love is the cast. It's an interesting bunch, but almost all of them bring their characters to life in a way that really works. Between Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, and surprisingly enough Kevin Bacon, we find characters that we actually care about. Writer Dan Fogelman has fleshed out these characters fantastically, and it's this great cast that brings out the life in each one of them.

I'm always hard on characters in movies. I constantly judge them for whether they seem real or not, or their motivations seem logical. Crazy, Stupid, Love's characters have all this. Carell gives you the impression of someone you may actually have known in your life, and you want to empathize with him. You root for him, and this is essential to a good character and a good movie. You need to want your heroes to succeed. Crazy, Stupid, Love has figured this out.

Carell is of course, terrific, and the rest of the cast is great as well, but it's actually Ryan Gosling that shines the brightest here. It's extremely difficult to admit how charming the bastard is, what with having been engaged to m'lady McAdams all those years ago, but I can't deny it. He's very good. He's got a way of saying his lines that make him sound like he's actually saying them for the first time. Imagine that.

The best thing about Crazy, Stupid, Love is that it's about something. Directors Glenn Ficara and John Requa have created something that's relevant to everybody. It's not a grandiose message and it's not something anyone seems to have forgotten, but it's something that matters. And making a movie about something as basic as fighting for the one you love is something I can easily get behind.

It's sad that most dumb comedies lately lose sight of these things that make movies worthwhile. Crazy, Stupid, Love hasn't lost sight of this. It stuck to what's important: people. And we're the craziest, stupidest, lovey-est ones of all.

4 stars

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