Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone star in “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” a surprisingly mature romantic comedy about a man (Carell) whose life undergoes a series of changes after his wife (Moore) requests a divorce. While the premise might not necessarily stand out, the originality of its execution is what sets it apart.
The story begins with the separation, but quickly spreads its focus to somewhat independant stories: Carell’s movement toward womanizing behavior, his son’s infatuation with the babysitter, the babysitter’s crush on Carell, Gosling’s numerous one-night stands, Moore’s emotional relationship between Carell and Kevin Bacon, with whom she cheated, and Stone’s questioning of her own feelings toward her boyfriend, played very briefly by Josh Groban. Though it all feels very scattered for a decent portion of the movie, with some characters not getting enough attention (or even disappearing for a large amount of time), the paths converge rather excitingly as the film approaches the climax.
A common problem with movies of this type is that they often fall victim to the numerous cliches found in the romantic comedy genre. “Crazy, Stupid, Love” acknowledges this through its intelligent dialogue regarding relationships that fail and succeed, alluding sparingly to the fact that not everything may end up as the audience expects. Granted, everything works out before the credits, but even in the happiest moments, there is a certain quiet melancholy in knowing that the film is about imperfect, real relationships, rather than the romanticized meant-to-be perfection that is too often present.
CSL remains mature while being consistantly hilarious throughout. An exceptional mix of uncomfortable, situational comedy, and warm, witty characters that are likeable and human. Worth a watch for adults and kids alike, looking both for an original romantic comedy, and for a heartwarming, truthful movie about just how crazy and stupid love can sometimes be.