HT Schuyler: Crazy, Stupid, Love. Review

Posted: August 3, 2011 by htschuyler in HT Schuyler's Movie Reviews

Rated PG for language and coarse humor.

Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Jonah Bobo, Marisa Tomei, Analeigh Tipton and Kevin Bacon.

Directed by: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.

If there’s one genre I normally can’t stand, it’s romantic comedies. Some are good, but most are just generic, dull, boring and pointless. So when I first saw the trailer for this movie I didn’t know what to think. On one hand, it’s a romantic comedy, but on the other hand, it looks like an original idea, and has some very talented actors attached to it. I started to hear that it was less like a comedy, and more of a drama. With that in mind I saw it, and it’s not exactly a romantic comedy, but not really a drama either. It rests somewhere in between, with some genuinely deep, dramatic scenes, but keeping consistently funny at the same time. It never goes too crazy, or too stupid, but is very heavy on the love aspect.

The movie focuses on our protagonist Cal (Steve Carell), after his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) tells him that she wants a divorce. He receives help from ladies man Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who helps him rediscover his manhood and make his wife regret leaving him. It also tells the story of Cal’s wife, and her relationship with the man she cheated on her husband with (Kevin Bacon). There is a side story with Cal’s son (Jonah Bobo) as he deals with his infatuation with his babysitter (Analeigh Tipton), and finally, there’s the story of Jacob’s realization that he may have found the girl of his dreams (Emma Stone). The four story’s intertwine with each other and ultimately come together in the end, with most characters getting a satisfying conclusion.

The acting from everyone is great. Steven Carell is at his best, especially since he is playing a serious character, not the goofy annoying one that he is unfortunately type cast as nowadays. Ryan Gosling is brilliant, creating a very funny and likable character, who easily could have been the main character, and steals the show whenever he is on screen. Julianne Moore is great as always, as is Kevin Bacon, who unfortunately is not in it as much as I’d hope, but is still very good. Emma Stone has really come along way acting wise since I first saw her in Superbad, and she does a great job in this movie. Jonah Bobo is also really good as Cal’s son, and his story arc is believable and character likable. Overall acting is very solid and nobody drags the film down.

The Good:

The movie is very funny. While I wasn’t rolling on the floor laughing, I was chuckling throughout, and had several hard laughs. All of the stories are very unique and also pretty believable. Most people will probably be able to find a character to relate to in one way or another. The movie has a steady pace, and there are very few dull moments. It never gets too goofy, or too serious. Its tone is always fluent, and there is never any awkward moments where your not sure how to react. The movie also has a surprising twist that I really didn’t see coming, and just adds to the complexity of certain characters. Above everything else, it’s just an entertaining film with great characters and a great story.

The Bad:

As much as I liked the characters, I did find some to be underdeveloped, such a Marisa Tomei’s character, who really isn’t necessary, despite Tomei giving a good performance. Kevin Bacon’s character is also very underdeveloped, and you never really understand his motivations, and whether he is the bad guy the film makes him out to be. His character also doesn’t really have much of a conclusion, which is unfortunate. There is also some brief self-referential humor, which I’m really not a fan of. Also, certain aspects of the twist seem a little implausible, but overall I have few problems with this film.

In Conclusion:

This movie took me be surprise, because I was really not that sure what to expect. It’s a dramatic romance-comedy that really works. The characters are all likable, even though some are a little underdeveloped, the movie is consistently funny, and there is never a dull moment. It’s a very surprising, very charming, and very funny film that I highly recommend.


  1. HT Schuyler likes a “chick flick”?


    I kid. Anything with Emma Stone is a thumbs up from me.

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