Whenever someone tells me that Steve Carrell is going to star in another movie I have to ask whether it's going to be a comedy or a drama. The guy has turned out fantastic comedic performances like he did on NBC's The Office or Anchorman or The 40-Year-Old Virgin. But he's capable of far more than a clown and he's shown that in movies like Little Miss Sunshine and Dan in Real Life and...well, NBC's The Office. He's one of the few actors out there right now that can make you laugh one second and cry the next and, if you're lucky, do both, all in the same scene.
In Crazy Stupid Love he's supported by an utterly stellar cast that includes Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Blue Valentine), Julianne Moore (The Big Lebowski, The Kids Are Alright), Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinnie, The Wrestler) and Emma Stone (Zombieland, Easy A). Everyone has impressed me in films prior to this one, but I can't help but to think that it was somehow Carrell that inspired everyone in this to meet the bar he set.
The movie is one you've seen before. It's about a middle-aged couple going through a divorce and how the man, who lost his zest for life and romance, gets it back after meeting a sexy suave stranger. The premise is nothing new...little coming out of Hollywood is anymore; but that doesn't mean that it's not entertaining and touching. It manages to maintain a tone through the whole film that's very refreshing. There are some scenes that are extremely funny and a blast to watch, but if the movie got too sad and dark it would have put a damper on the comedy. However it still has those scenes that might make you wipe a tear or two away since it's well-written enough that you care deeply for some of the characters.
What makes it even more fun is that there are twists in the story that throw you curve balls and make sure you're not losing interest. Even as predictable and cheesy as some scenes (especially the ending) can get, it's those shockers that really kept my eyes from rolling. One particular twist is rather obvious, or at least was to me, if you're simply paying attention to some of the casting choices but that's all I'll say about that.
Crazy Stupid Love isn't breaking any new ground and for that it gets docked a point. However it's one of those movies that seems to come along rather often that is a universal crowd pleaser on almost all levels. It doesn't get graphic. It stays very sweet. It has the perfect amount of ha-has. It makes sure you don't leave unhappy. It speaks to everyone on some level or another, even if it really doesn't have anything itself to say.
Crazy Stupid Love (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: A-