Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review: Crazy Stupid Love

I had it in my mind when I woke up Saturday morning that I was going to see “Crazy Stupid Love” in the evening. On tap before that was a trek off the island to Brooklyn into hipster central for a food flea market that is aptly and oh-so-cleverly dubbed “Smorgasburg.” If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around this, think a gated dirt lot, a cluster of booths peddling culinary delights, and a parade of V-necks. This waistline-challenging excursion proved to be quite the foreshadowing moment as my entertainment for the evening proved to be a smorgasbord of a movie.

“Crazy Stupid Love” has something for everyone and - like most of its predecessors that aspire to feed the masses, it struggles with pacing. I have to admit that I have a bias against films that have a slew of intertwining plot lines like “Crash,” Valentine’s Day,” and the soon-to-be-released “New Year’s Eve.” I would rather see one or two good storylines woven into a film and fully fleshed out rather than one good plotline orbited by four mediocre ones. CSL isn’t necessarily one of the aforementioned films with an ensemble cast that seems to feature 40 people, but at times it has that quality of being three different movies rolled into one.

With that being said, it is a very entertaining film and it is at its riveting best when Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling share the screen. The dynamic of their interactions is reminiscent of “Hitch” (Smith and James) and if you look closely you might see a little Vaughn and Favreau from “Swingers.” The respective performances of those two actors made the film worth the price of admission. As for the rest of the cast, kudos to Jonah Bobo for being the heart of the film, while Julianne Moore and Kevin Bacon deliver pedestrian performances and Emma Stone spends far too much time off screen.

The bottom line is that you’re getting three films in one. When the movie operates as a buddy flick, it is at its best; when it reverts to its rom-com roots, it is very paint-by-numbers; and when it panders to its ABC Family–watching contingency, warm and fuzzies ensue. I would definitely recommend this movie for date night, but one would probably draw best value viewing it on Netflix, On Demand, Vudu, et al. It does not have the visual effects or the grand sweeping epic feel of a Thor, Captain America, or Harry Potter that demand a cinematic viewing.

Standout Performances: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling


  1. Good Review! Overall, the film is too conventional for my liking. It needed to be sharper, wittier, and funnier. But for average summer fare, it’s okay. It’s far from perfect and runs on the long side, but rom-com and chick flick lovers will likely be satisfied. Check out my site whenever you can!