The romantic element of this comedy is also fresh in a way that the relationships of the characters seem realistic because the characters are genuine in their expectations pertaining to love. At the heart of this film is the idea that we all have a soulmate – our one true love. And the film is successful in presenting that idea without the cheesiness that most of its predecessors have.
Earlier: Friends With Benefits
Cal (Steve Carell), out with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore), asks what she wants for dessert. She says a divorce. As you may have guessed this is not on the menu, and as they’re driving home Emily admits to an affair with coworker, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). Cal and Emily’s relationship went blah at some point. But their kids and Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), the babysitter, are still surprised as a shell-shocked Cal blurts the unfortunate news of their split.
Wallowing in becoming cuckolded, Cal sits at the bar of a sleek nightspot, slurping down cran and vodkas. As he begins to frequent this place during his nights, crowding the bar with a sob story no one’s willing to listen to, he spots a well-dressed pickup artist.
The ladies’ man, Jacob (Ryan Gosling), invites him over for a drink – bait that Cal takes. Jacob offers to change Cal, in the form of a makeover and providing tips for picking up gorgeous women. A desperate Cal agrees to the deal. They do all the necessaries to try and make Steve Carell look as cool as Ryan Gosling. New haircut, shirts, shoes, are all part of the agenda.
The new Cal steps out and has his way with the women at this bar that he and Jacob are now regulars at. But the encounter with recovering alcoholic and teacher Kate (Marisa Tomei) is highlighted. Sexually apt, she pounces on him, attracted to his nervous honesty. Word travels fast concerning Cal’s new womanizing ways and a few hearers of these whispers aren’t big fans of the latest version of Cal, namely his teenage son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo).
Beyond his years in love advice, Robbie is experiencing love himself, and wants his dad to fight harder to save the marriage. Jacob is unexpectedly falling in love with Hannah (Emma Stone) – a girl he met at the same bar where the women fall in his lap, then eventually in his sheets.
At a point in the movie these people and stories intertwine in a clever way, piecing together what they’ve withheld. This film is done uniquely and it’s hilarious, chockfull of one-liners to take home. Perhaps my only concern is Emily’s character didn’t have much of an overhaul in this process. However, pumping crazy new blood into the romantic comedy genre, this film earns 3 out 4 stars.
You can watch Crazy, Stupid, Love at Muvico in Rosemont in Premier or General seating.