Friday, July 29, 2011
Crazy Stupid Love
Who loves a good dysfunctional family comedy? I do, I do. Well then add this one to your list because it's a really enjoyable entry in that genre.
Steve Carell plays a heartbroken husband and father who learns that his wife, played by Julianne Moore, has cheated on him and wants a divorce. And that's just one of many interwoven storylines in this ensemble dramatic comedy also featuring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon. I won't say anymore about the story, because the joy in this film is watching it unfold, not knowing where it's going. It's a great blend of heartfelt family drama and riotous comedy. It's part 'City Island', part 'Little Miss Sunshine', and maybe even part 'Paper Man'. All of the leads were cast perfectly. I'm a big fan of Carell's work in film and even though I like him as Michael Scott in 'The Office' I think it's the right time for him to move on and tackle exactly these types of projects. (And, as an aside, replacing him in 'The Office' with James Spader was the best thing that could have happened to that show. But I digress.) Carell really does an amazing job here, as he did in 'Little Miss Sunshine', of balancing comedy with some really solid emotional acting chops. Even in less than perfect films like 'Date Night' and 'Dan in Real Life', he really makes them so likable. And Julianne Moore picked a great follow up role to her lauded performance in last year's 'The Kids are All Right'. She's really found her niche as well. And Gosling and Stone both continue to deliver one good performance after another these days, with Gosling fresh off of 'Blue Valentine' and Stone in 'Zombieland', 'Easy A', and 'Paper Man'. The cast was really a joy to watch and the writing and directing was also really solid. Normally I look for honest, believable performances, but here most of them are fairly unbelievable, and yet the film still works incredibly well. It's definitely worth your time and money.