Aug 28, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011): B-

So close, and yet so far. Crazy, Stupid, Love. has a lot more going for it than it seems to realize, and watching it is akin to seeing a healthy athlete lose the race because they inadvertently strapped themselves to a pair of crutches. Dan Fogelman should get some tenderness credit for his screenplay, which is frequently delightful in that it leaves room for characters to exist and be themselves beyond the demands of writing conventions, and daring in how it withholds information from the audience and certain characters for maximum laugh/shock impact when revealed. It is also downright hideous on at least one occasion, in which a character does something that almost only ever happens in stupid movies, and it goes on for a very. Long. Time. If you can look past this climactic bungle, then, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is among the more honest rom-coms in a time that also could have been great. Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa - of Bad Santa's screenplay - handle things with organic ease, defusing usual comedy hijinks and letting the absurd unfold in a more everyday manner; love goes round and round amongst a rough dozen characters whom, at best, only think they know what they want. Steve Carell, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Kevin Bacon, and an underutilized Marisa Tomei are all top notch. And for a mainstream, tentpole film, Crazy, Stupid, Love.'s non-resolutions are decidedly non-pat and reflective of real struggle. Tweak out about twenty minutes, and this might've been more than only almost a fever pitch.

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