Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Directed By: Glen Ficarra and John Requa

Starring: Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone

Crazy, Stupid, Love.  That's an interesting title for a film that really stands out.  It's unique.  It's captivating.  It's sentimental.  Much like it's catchy title, the film is all of these things.  Crazy, Stupid, Love. is far from the typical romantic comedy, and that's refreshing to see on the big screen.  In this summer season during which moviegoers have been inundated with formulaic rom coms, it's nice to see a romantic comedy that hits all the right notes and then some we weren't expecting.

Cal (Steve Carrell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) are having an ordinary night out as husband and wife.  While trying to order dinner at a restaurant, Emily asks for something that's not on the menu-- a divorce.  Additionally, Emily tells Cal that she cheated on him with her coworker David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon).  Now, the newly divorced Cal must navigate the single life for the first time in 25 years.  His solution is to go sit in a bar, get drunk, and talk to himself about his problems.  A bachelor named Jacob (Ryan Gosling) sees Cal's sad situation and decides to help him get his mojo back, if he ever had any in the first place.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is not a romantic comedy of the traditional sort.  A rom com with Steve Carrell is anything but traditional.  He delivers big laughs as the goofy father and bachelor Cal, especially during scenes involving Marisa Tomei's Kate.  This is not where he shines though.  There's an underlying melancholy throughout the film that makes it richer and smarter, and Carrell's character helps to anchor this mood.  No matter how many women he woos with his new makeover, Cal remains profoundly sad because he's lost Emily, the love of his life.  His performance as this man trying to find his way without his soulmate is not only enjoyable but laudable.

Another standout in the film is Emma Stone.  She portrays Hannah, a young woman getting ready to graduate from law school.  She soon expects a proposal from her boyfriend, who is an attorney.  When she thinks he will pop the question at a celebration, he offers her a job at his law firm instead.  Hannah naturally loses it and goes to hook up with some guy she rejected in a bar recently-- Jacob.  Her character's transformation from the girl who has everything together to a reckless drunk who sees her life with clear vision is really fun to watch.  Emma Stone is going to be running the romantic comedy scene in a few years, and you can clearly see why in her portrayal of Hannah.  She has a unique personality on screen that is absolutely lovable.

While Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have great chemistry on screen, Steve Carrell and Julianne Moore do not.  Moore and Carrell don't have bad chemistry; the spark is just not there when it needs to be.  Part of that is the awkward tension that is necessary because of the divorce.  Moore and Carrell let that tension linger, which is understandable.  However, part of this is simply the fact that neither of them is really that experienced in making romantic comedies (though they have each done a couple in their time).  Because there are very few romantic moments between the two on screen, the film doesn't suffer that much.

Though it never quite lives up to its title, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a heartwarming film with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.  This fun romantic comedy gets a 0.06% rating.  Have some wine with this one.  You won't need to drink as much as Cal does in the film though.