Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011) – 4/5

Funny, though occasionally clunky and clichéd little pseudo-independent movie that is nonetheless well made, well acted, well shot, and well-directed. The writing could have used some work though, especially in the first act, and especially to smooth over and/or cut all those obvious “quirky indie moments” moderately budgeted films starring Steve Carell seem to all have these days. Call it the curse of Little Miss Sunshine.

The beginning plays out pretty predictably, too much so as it almost lost me at times. Though I enjoyed how the differences between Carell’s and Julianne Moore’s characters are illustrated non-verbally in the opening moments of the film, differences that quickly lead to their breakup, the film never really goes deeper about why their marriage is falling apart. Carell’s character in general really annoyed me, actually; he’s such a predictable, sexist cliché with his cowardice and passivity in the face of his wife’s obvious mistreatment of him.

His behavior speaks of a greater problem I’ve found present in many films these days, specifically in comedies, in both film and television, where the man is not allowed to express anger or frustration or even so much as raise his voice in opposition when wronged by a woman lest he be branded a villain and hauled off by those around him to be tarred and feathered, or the metaphorical equivalent thereof. Yet the woman is not only allowed to lie, cheat, and manipulate with little fear of repercussion, (even if it means the breakup of her otherwise strong, loving family), but is actually made to elicit sympathy from the audience and thus become the victim so the man she wronged can become the evil doer who must change his vile manly ways to win her back. Why? Because screw men, that’s why! Because in the narrow-minded, politically correct world of Hollywood, passionate men are an evil, and women are almost always right, regardless of  circumstance. Good message you’re sending us, there, Hollywood, as always. Thanks for showing us that sexism is alive and well, yet subtly hidden under the guise of harmless comedy. Ha ha!

Anyway, plot wise the movie is decent. The film picks up after the first act as the actors are allowed to play around and the plot actually becomes charming and unpredictable at times. Ryan Gosling is decent here, though a ladies man? I don’t know. He seems like too much of a nice guy. He also doesn’t seem to have any kind of personality. He’s a good actor, but his voice is so monotone, like a robot. I imagine that would get annoying after a while. And Emma Stone looks decidedly different here; her eyes are definitely bigger, her face smoother. She looked more conventionally pretty than she’s usually able to pull off, being a relatively average looking girl at best. Hmm.

Overall, pretty decent movie with a touch of anti-male sexism thrown in for the more perceptive in the audience who will probably just laugh it off given how deeply ingrained it’s become in our culture. Stupid men! Ha ha! Sigh. But the film is also full of good one liners and funny moments, and has an extremely strong second act and a **SPOILERS** twist I totally didn’t see coming at all that connects all the characters together in an unpredictable way. Wowzer! **END SPOILERS** That was a good one. Can’t remember the last time a movie took me by surprise like that.

The ending is a touch predictable, but eh, it needed some kind of an ending; what else did you expect? Decent movie, funny, well, acted; worth watching, sure. And even better if you’re a woman who wants her ego stroked, or a man who doesn’t mind being insulted for two hours. Yeah.

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    • joe dimaggio
    • May 13th, 2012

    Steve carrells character is sexist? Are you kidding me? Did you watch the movie? The whole damn thing was sexist towards men.

    • doris
    • March 6th, 2012

    Funny I thought the movie made women look like they still were nothing but sex objects. They still only wanted bad boys who dressed sharp and had smooth lines. Emma stone really hurt me. She was less excited about passing her bar exam than her marriage proposal expectation. The teenager who posed naked really really set me off. There is a sense of male exploitation with Steve cs character. Females should look at a mans goodness, not his clothes. Thing is the women

    • The movie is offensive to both genders, like a lot of comedies these days tend to be. The men are usually pathetic and whiny and let their women walk all over them, and the women are simplistic or stupid or hypocritical or bitchy or quirky or some wacky combination thereof. Both genders are made into stereotypes and paraded around for cheap laughs, and nobody wins.

        • MAN
        • June 17th, 2012

        oh WTF ever it’s ppl like you who enable shit like this to thrive in our culture, Allen. Whenever someone points out sexism toward men, ppl like you are always there to make everything seem “even”. The truth is if a movie truly is sexist to women it won’t be allowed to see the light of day. “Men”, and i use that term loosely, like you would put on your shiny white knight armor on and protest in the name of chivalry right next to the feminist. This movie was sooo one sided: MAN BAD GUY! MUST WIN CHEATING WIFE BACK! WOMAN GOOOOD SHE NEVER CAN DO BAD. FEEL SORRY HER, HUSBAND NOT GOOD IN BED BUT GOOD FATHER, BUT WHAT EVER. I felt my freaking brain bleed from the sheer stupidity of this movie.

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