“I have loved her even when I hated her… only married couples’ll understand that one…”
- Cal Weaver
Emily Weaver (Julianne Moore) drops a bombshell on her husband, Cal (Steve Carell). She has been cheating on him with David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon), a co-worker of hers. She wants a divorce. Naturally he is crushed and has no idea what to do with his life. Instead, he slips into a dark cesspool of pity and depression, matters not being helped by the fact that he is living alone now, his son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) and daughter Molly (Joey King) are still with Emily. Going with the pity party, he meets Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a total philanderer, in a bar after Jacob takes pity on Cal and wants to help him get back up on the horse and have his wife rue the day she asked for a divorce. Cal eventually agrees to take Jacob up on his advice.
Jacob, however, is still hung up a little on Hannah (Emma Stone), the one beautiful woman who flat out rejected him, something he is not used to. Excluding that, he has a massively successful track record and beds new women whenever the desire takes him. Jacob immediately changes out Cal’s clothes, wallet and most of his personality, shaping him into a new man. Cal is slow to change these things about him seeing as he has only ever been with Emily in his life, since high school, and no other woman factored in. He knows nothing about “the hunt”. Robbie is not dealing well with his parents split, though this will do nothing to change his outlook on true love. He is obsessed with Jessica Riley (Analeigh Tipton), who definitely does not reciprocate his feelings seeing as she is in love with another man. The other man happens to be Cal, though nobody knows this. Cal manages to land a very attractive woman at the bar one night named Kate (Marisa Tomei), who seems to absolutely love his honesty about his life (a tactic he tried when Jacob’s calm, cool, collected, selfish and douchey approach failed miserably). When finally coming into contact with Emily again at Robbie’s parent-teacher meeting, they share a lovely moment which is soon marred by the appearance of Kate, who happens to be Robbie’s teacher.
Right there, the progress that the old married couple has made is thrown away. Emily is furious that Cal slept with Kate, and Kate is furious that Cal used her and never called her again. Jessica wishes to make her feeling to Cal known and takes stupid advice from Madison (Julianna Guill), the school slut, about taking naked photos of herself and sending them to the mystery man. She takes the photos and puts them in an envelope. Robbie refuses to give up on Jessica, going over and beyond the regular measures to try and win her over. Hannah, on the other hand, is peeved when her boyfriend Richard (Josh Groban) does not propose marriage when she passes her bar exam, though she expected it. In a rage, she storms out and rushes to the bar where she met Jacob, and immediately pulls him from the girl he is with and professes the need to go home with him. Upon arrival, instead of hot, steamy sex (which is what she went with), the two end up talking the whole night away and Jacob falls madly in love. His connection with Hannah means that he becomes rather distant with Cal, who is on a big thing of picking up as many women as he can find. Emily is trying to make things work with David Lindhagen by the looks of it, but seems to want more than he has to offer, seems to want more along the lines of what her husband gave her.
Things are starting to change. Jacob is smitten with Hannah, who is shot of Dick (good thing), while Cal is now lonely, no friendship and no family. Robbie is rapidly falling out of love with the idea of love. Emily misses Cal but refuses to say anything about it. Jessica is sitting on the news of who she loves, though the cat is out of the bag when her mother Claire (Beth Littleford) discovers the photographs and takes them to her father Bernie (John Carroll Lynch), who is horrified and decides to make a stand. Will Cal and Emily sort through their marital issues? Will Robbie get back to his romantic roots, no matter what happens with Jessica? Will Jessica reveal her love for Cal, crushing Robbie though granting her freedom? Will Hannah and Jacob work out, despite his history? Will Cal ever find a friend like Jacob again, seeing as he is now unavailable and in love?
A 7.5/10 for Crazy, Stupid, Love. Goodness knows it is not a perfect film, but I shockingly had fun with it. I will certainly attribute this to the fact that this is not a soppy love story, and overbearingly sickening and gross, it was funny, smart and sweet. It also had a decent cast and – can you believe this?! – displays the second role I have seen Steve Carell in that did not get under my skin. There were plenty awkward moments, plenty funny and plenty sweet, but makes everything work at the end. This is the kind of romantic movie I can watch from time to time and recommend to people without feeling just plain down ridiculous. Ryan Gosling played the smooth talker down to a tee, and was super slick and completely without scruples, while Carell nailed the part of married, middle-aged father with a dead end job… boring, basically. Emma Stone was again just gorgeous and adorable, I really do love her. The cast overall was star-studded and well utilised for what they had to do, and this film is just the right thing when you want something not too heavy and just nice to chill out and watch. It was also pretty sharp, and plenty of places that had me cringe and giggle about. I am surprised I liked it this much, and I must thank Natasha for hammering on that I look into it, it was well worth it.