The movie opens with Emily announcing to Cal over dinner that she wants a divorce and that she has had an affair. A shell shocked Cal moves out of his home and into a new apartment. Cal starts frequenting a bar trying to drown his sorrows night after night which catches the attention of Jacob, the bars ladies man. He decides he is going to help Cal rediscover his manhood by coaching him in the ways of fashion and picking up woman. His coaching works as the once monogamous Cal starts taking woman home. Despite his new found confidence with the ladies he discovers that his true love and soul mate was in fact his wife and he decides to try and win her back with the help of his thirteen-year-old boy.
There are several genuine moments in Crazy Stupid Love that hit the mark perfectly. These include many of the awkward moments of relationships. I absolutely loved the scene of Hanna and Jacob’s first night together. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone just sparked together and the scene unfolded in a honest and endearing way. The film unfortunately contained several scenes that seemed to fall back on stale recycled plot formulas that have been used over and over again too. It’s a shame that the screenwriter, Dan Fogelman, included those stale scenes because without them Crazy Stupid Love could have easily become one of the better romantic comedies.
The cast was spectacular. The acting from the leading men down to the children actors did a magnificent job with their characters. Ryan Gosling stole the show though. His performance of Jacob is supporting actor award worthy. In fact based on the strength of his performance and the more defined character arch the Jacob goes through I believe the movie’s biggest mistake may have been not making Jacob the central figure of the story instead of Cal.
Cal’s evolution in the film was an odd one as Cal went from respectable family man to philandering womanizer. He then repents to a certain degree, but the movie never truly reveals where his character stands in the end, so it’s hard to gage if Cal comes full circle. Crazy Stupid Love also dares to be honest in some of it’s better scenes only to chicken out in others. The worst part of the film is the ending which features characters doing things that seem completely out of character and selling out the honesty it had built prior to the last 15 minutes in exchange for a Hollywood ending. I was disappointed to say the least.
The movie featured several charming subplots including a strange love triangle between Cal, Cal’s son, and the babysitter. The best subplot clearly was Jacob’s character and how he goes from womanizer to a man completely in love. The strength of these subplots though may upstage the central story of Cal and Emily’s relationship.
In the end Crazy Stupid Love has enough genuine moments and earned laughs to recommend. The performances were great which helped make the flatter moments bearable including the disappointing ending. It’s definitely a worthy date movie that both genders will enjoy.
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Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.
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