Crazy, Stupid, Love
Distributor: Warner Bros
Release Date: September 29
Crazy Stupid Love looks something like a spring-break comedy when it gets started: a reinvented middle-aged man finally gets all the sex he’s been missing. But the joke is actually on that free-and-easy lifestyle.
Crazy Stupid Love introduces us to the Weavers, a thoroughly domesticated couple whose marriage has been steadily drying up over the decades they’ve been married. Cal, played by Steve Carell, thinks their biggest problem is deciding what desert to have off the menu. Emily, played by Julianne Moore, selects something he didn’t know was on offer: divorce. She tells him, “We haven’t been us for a very long time and I don’t even know when it started,” before confessing she’s had an affair with someone at his office. Cal suggests that was probably when they stopped ‘being us’. Days later he’s moved out of the family home and is spending his nights consoling himself at a local bar. That’s when ladies’ man Jacob (Ryan Gosling) strolls into his life. He promises to teach him how to be a man again, and begins by replacing his ill-fitting suits and reforming his pick-up lines. Suddenly Cal is having more sex than he’s ever dreamed, but is he happy?
Carell has a real talent for extracting awkward laughs and his pathetic character produces plenty of humour. But amidst the laughs, Crazy Stupid Love draws out the real pain associated with sexual promiscuity. There are painfully awkward moments when Cal crosses paths with past one-night-stands, and his journey to self-discovery actually only increases the distance between himself and his wife. His son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) turns the tables on his father during some teen relationship advice, and crystalises the unflinching commitment necessary for real contentment:
Cal: “She’s your soul mate right?”
Cal: “Well you don’t give up on her.”
Robbie: “Why not? You did.”
Cal: “It’s a little more complicated than that.”
Robbie: “Is it? You either love her or you don’t. Seriously dad I need some inspiration right now.”
There are the usual failed plans and misunderstandings to go through before the titles roll but Crazy Stupid Love ends up concluding that modern, self-serving relationships are more likely to produce scars than any kind of lasting happiness. It’s crazy, stupid, old-fashioned perseverance and forgiveness that provide the key ingredients for lasting love.