[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B009L5CNQ4][/pullquote] Romantic comedies are one of the most mined genres in Hollywood today. The broard appeal to all genders and ages makes them an almost sure-fire money-maker in todays film market. There are so many that audiences could tell you before going in exactly what’s going to happen scene for scene, but this formula is a winning one and the message of ‘love conquers all’ is one the most enduring in human history. Then there are some films that dare to be a bit different. Who want to engage the audience on a deeper level. Some fail, but once in a while one comes along that just makes you happy to be alive.
Over dinner one night Cal Weaver’s (Steve Carell) wife Emily (Julianne Moore) explains that their marriage isn’t working anymore and that she wants a divorce. On a night out in a bar he meets Jacob (Ryan Gosling) who explains all the inadequacies in Cal’s approach to women. After a make-over the two men become friends and begin to work the bar looking for women. After some succes Jacob meets Hannah (Emma Stone) and realises he loves her. Unprepared for this turn of events he looks to Cal for advice.
Although Crazy, Stupid, Love has a lot of the formulaic themes of a romantic comedy, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is more of an independently spirited film. Carell channels some of his best characters from previous films, notably Dan from Dan in Real Life, while Gosling simmers as the womaniser out of his depth with Stone’s quirky, but loveable Hannah. The whole cast in fact are so effortless in their approach, that it’s just nice to spend a couple of hours in their company.
Crazy, Stupid, Love‘s plot runs at a good pace and is rarely if ever dull or disengaging, however there is a point just over the half-way mark where it takes a sudden turn, including the highlight, strangely a Shakespearean escalation of events that ends with a fight. The romantic comedy genre types are dismissed in favour of a heart-warming and realistic portrayal of the different stages of a relationship from beginning, middle and potentially the end. This is the films greatest strength as it allows the audience to fully engage with the characters, making the finale one of poignancy and verve.
Not your standard romantic comedy by a long stretch. The film-makers go out of their way to make a moving piece of cinema popcorn fluff that will stay with you longer than the premise suggests.