It says quite a bit about today’s state of film that this thing’s getting praise as if there’s an original bone its body. While there are more-than-worthy moments, two to be exact, the next level is mildly amusing, then it’s down to cutesy, and then down to terribly lame.
Steve Carell returns to play “Dan in Real Life” again, a nice guy with some bad luck who we gotta love because he’s just so darn clueless and dorky. At least Ryan Gosling, a cold womanizer who hangs out in the bar Steve drinks at when his wife of 25 years (Julianne Moore, saying all the stuff that she said in the preview) announces that she’s sleeping with someone else (Kevin Bacon) and wants a divorce. There’s hope for all this in the first act, as we can’t be mad that every line has been said on the trailer and are waiting for something more. Sadly, it pooters out and keeps going for almost two hours. This is an overly-long chick flick, that’s all. It’s been pushed as a clever ensemble that both guys and gals can get into, at least enough where guys don’t feel like tools when their gals drag them in, but it ends up in the “P.S. I Love You” section. This isn’t for gals, it’s for chicks. It’s a chick flick.
Soooo, u ready, bitches?? O-Kay!! Plot, yay! Ryan is totally hot (omigod, he really is, like, “photo-shopped” when his shirt’s off!!!) and sooo knows how to talk to a woman and wants Steve (sooo adorable!) to score, so he totally takes him out shopping and gives him a makeover! It’s, like, so totally funny, Steve, like, wants to shop at The Gap, and Ryan’s, like, NO WAY! LMFAO!!! But Steve really loves Julianne and Ryan soooo grows a heart for Emma Stone, so they end up quitting the game for, like, having a meaningful relationship! Sooooo sweet, I, like, like, cried.
Okay, can’t do it. You get it, this is a chick flick. The sick part is that it’s written by a guy, likely one who pretended that he liked Jewel just to get laid. While the acting is solid from all corners, the script spits out plenty of fun little preview lines without giving emotion or real backstory to any of the characters who say them. Even Steve Carell’s son, a wise thirteen-year-old with a knack for grand public gestures of love to score the heart of his babysitter, is just full of wise quips and guidelines on being true to one’s self. This is simply creepy and lame, and Steve’s cutesy line “HOW old are you?” is basically the writer’s excuse for not having to listen to a thirteen-year-old talk and maybe make an attempt at the actual awkwardness of a first crush in his script. There’s not much of a plot going on, just a year (we know that because somebody mentions in dialogues how a year’s passed in the end) in the life of a few people out to find love and the wacky coincidences that bind them into one wacky finale scene where everybody’s arguing as if in a recycled twist of an old re-run of “Friends.”
There are moments, but they’re not enough to redeem all this. Steve Carell and Juliannne Moore share one scene that goes deeper than the rest and has some dialogue that actually means more than it says. Subtext, if you will. Oooooooh. Subtext. Then, there’s the sequence where Emma Stone goes home with Gosling. Looking back, this may be the most frustrating part of the film, as it suddenly brings us into a real and charming moment that should have just been the whole movie. The rest is crap like Steve Carell watching Julianne Moore drive off as it begins to pour rain (not for comic effect, it’s really raining on him to make us more emotionally involved).
The nail in the coffin is the role Marisa Tomei has, a one-night-stand of Carell who seems just out for a wild ride and gets off on his plain honesty about still being in love with his wife and yet who throws a fit in the middle of a parent-teacher conference over how he never called again. Fake, lame, hyper, and trying to get a reaction from the audience with manipulative garbage we’ve seen in pretty much every other get-her-back rom-com, “Crazy Stupid Love” teases with aspects like a simply perfect Emma Stone while gorging us on insightful lines by a thirteen-year-old who’s in love with a girl because he’s jacking off to her. Not even Stone’s character can be spoken for, she was just able to somehow shine through it. Kudos. Too bad Steve Carell felt the need to do “Dan in Real Life 2″ instead of take a step onward.
This flick sucked, but the actors will rightfully work again, so we’ll hopefully see them all redeem themselves.
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