Film Review: Crazy Stupid Love

Amazon has been recommending that I watch Crazy Stupid Love ever since I can remember (about three years) and so, on an evening with nothing else to do, I fired up the streaming on this film that seems to be permanently in the ‘Most Popular’ section of Prime Video. And – you know what? – it’s not a bad little film at all.

I mean, firstly, it’s not actually a little film. It’s quite a big film with a pretty impressive cast. Julianne Moore and Steve Carell are Emily and Cal whose drifting marriage is ended by the announcement, at the start of the film, of the former’s one-night stand with a colleague. The lamentation of this break-up by Cal, which takes place loudly at a bar where pick up artists ply their trade, leads him into the orbit of Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a highly successful PUA who takes pity on the shell of a man before him. Jacob’s run of form is thrown into question when he finds himself falling a bit too much for Hannah, a smart but somewhat repressed young woman who herself seems to be trapped into a relationship of convenience.  Emma Stone has a lot of fun playing Hannah and her scenes with Jacob really do hit the spot.

And, mostly, with the usual caveats one might apply to Hollywood films, the audience has a lot of fun watching this.  There are some very nice, sparky lines. There are some genuinely funny scenes. And Julianne Moore confirms again that give her anything to do in any scene ever and she will prove herself to be one of the actors of her generation – and do it effortlessly.  The story moves along nicely even if it clunks a bit (although still with some good lines and scenes) when it comes to the babysitter having the hots for Cal and Cal & Emily’s son having the hots for the babysitter.  There’s also the criminal underusing of Marisa Tomei who fires through the few scenes she’s given like she’s having the time of her life; Liza Lipari is brilliant as Hannah’s best friend, Liz but, again, vanishes for far, far too long.  All that and I’ve not even mentioned a good turn from Kevin Bacon.

Obviously it ends with public declamations that make you doubt the sanity of the onlookers who end up applauding such trite sentimentality but either side of the grandstanding Crazy Stupid Love does enough to allow you to let it get away with that kind of stuff.  Definitely worth catching if, like me, it’s been cropping up as recommendation for the longest time and you find yourself with a time when you might as well give it a go.

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