If Peter Debruge‘s positive Variety review can be believed, Crazy Stupid Love (7.29) is a much better movie than what that dumbed-down trailer has been selling for several weeks. Congrats to Warner Bros. marketing for nearly persuading some of us that this allegedly endearing ensemble comedy, directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris), might faintly suck.
“In a time before raunchy, R-rated laffers competed for the how-low-can-you-go prize, the demand for mature, grown-up romantic comedies resulted in pics as wise and wonderfully character-driven as Crazy, Stupid, Love,” Debruge begins. “Old-fashioned as that might sound, there’s a fresh, insightful feel to this multigenerational love story, in which square dad Steve Carell finds himself taking dating tips from ultra-slick ladykiller Ryan Gosling after getting tossed back into the singles scene.
“Instead of forcing the material to go high-concept or lowbrow, Warner Bros. trusts a first-rate cast and rock-solid script to sell auds. Response should be upbeat for this refreshingly upscale offering. Though it refuses to be reduced to a simple, one-sentence pitch, Crazy, Stupid‘s various storylines revolve around the shattered love life of happily married Cal (Carell), who has a midlife crisis foisted upon him when Emily (Julianne Moore), his wife of nearly 30 years, files for divorce.
“No magic body-swapping. No talking hand puppet. Just a sincere, soulful look at how someone who married his high-school sweetheart and never once imagined himself with another woman adjusts to being alone.”
A dissenting journalist confided the following this morning: “Off the record (as I am about to use language I wouldn’t use in a professional context), Crazy, Stupid, Love is phony fucking bullshit of the highest order, an utter wad of falsehood shot through with behavior no human being would actually engage in, with the additional blow of withholding one piece of vital information far, far past when it would have come up in real life for the purposes of a ‘surprise’ in the third act designed to make idiots gasp. It’s horrible, and while Peter Debruge is normally on his game, he is most assuredly not in this case.”