If you think Crazy, Stupid, Love. is not going to offer some serious portions of drama, you won't be surprised. But if you think it will be a great romantic comedy, probably you won't be completely satisfied. The truth is, this is a good movie offering plenty of comic situations with romantic flavor plus a decent cast and acting. It is not the most believable film in its entirety but otherwise pretty much every scene could happen in reality if considered separately.
Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is a "happily" married man who is incredibly surprised to hear his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) wants a divorce because of her adultery with David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon), a colleague of hers. Their children and especially the son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) are not fascinated by the idea of separated parents so they try to bring their mom and dad together again. Meanwhile, Cal demonstrates big problems in his communication with other women, so a young Casanova named Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) decides to help Cal. In his attempts to become like Jacob, Cal sleeps with teacher Kate (Marisa Tomei) as well as with several other women while at the same time Jacob unexpectedly falls in love with lawyer Hannah (Emma Stone). Don't worry if this sounds just like a trivial mess, Crazy, Stupid, Love. will grow into a bigger tangle later.
The solid cast listed above provides for solid performances. Steve Carell is good in portraying both Cal's miserable life in the beginning as well as the "self-confident" Cal later. Ryan Gosling is calm and captivating as Jacob and it's easy to believe he is all girls' favorite. Julianne Moore ensures the uncomfortable appearance of Emily after she initiates the divorce and makes the character to look guilty and exhausted. In her short screen time, Marisa Tomei presents well an ex-alcoholic teacher in a desperate need of love while Kevin Bacon is stable as Emily's colleague and tempter. Emma Stone appears charming and innocent in Hannah's naivety. And Jonah Bobo is a cool teenager with decent chances for a bright future.
The dramatic moments in Crazy, Stupid, Love. will hardly make you cry and their main purpose is to put a bit of drama in the comedy but then there are some pathetic speeches that could force you to shed a tear or two. The movie offers a kind of unanticipated twist especially if you haven't been careful and farseeing until a certain point and after it everything becomes fully predictable again. Actually, a single twist is more than anyone would usually expect from a movie in the romcom genre so in this aspect the norm is overfulfiled. Yet the film's enchantment suffers to a degree from the twist coming way too early.
As mentioned initially, almost everything in the movie taken separately is feasible but gathered in one place seems hard to believe. Thus, if you are a firm follower of realism in the cinema, you could be annoyed eventually. On the other hand, it's a (Hollywood) movie so a share of excessiveness in the number of less probable events should be anticipated. All in all, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is not recommendable for special effects and action lovers but it's an easy choice for romantic comedy admirers cause the movie offers enough entertainment and funny moments in order to position itself among the better films of the romcom genre this year.