Crazy Stupid Love
Crazy Stupid Love is the story of a man who is recently divorced and is taken under the wing of a young womanizer who teaches him how to pick up women. The movie stars a large and impressive cast including Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Julianne Moore. Oh, and also Kevin Bacon who sets out to make it even easier for people to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. The story involves a number of different storylines all woven together, each of which deals with the idea of falling in or being in love.
However, this movie’s major flaw comes from the multiple storyline issue. The director and editor don’t seem to know how much time to spend on each plot thread, and have ended up spending too much time on each. First they’ll focus on Emma Stone’s character, then on Carrell for a long period of time, then his babysitter, and by the time they get back to Emma Stone, you’ve forgotten she was even in the movie! This film just never got the timing right, and as a result each plotline felt disconnected because it always took so long for the film to get back to each of them.
The movie also suffers from some pretty big logic gaps. The idea that Gosling would waste his time helping Carrell is a little hard to swallow. Sure there’s a vague hint that it’s because Carrell is like his father, but that’s not very convincing motivation. There’s also a big spoiler at the end that doesn’t actually make much sense, so the rest of this paragraph will be on spoiler alert: The fact that Emma Stone is their daughter created a funny moment when the revelation came, but was hard to believe for two reasons: even though her parents are getting a divorce, she mentions nothing about it to anyone she knows, even when her and gosling are doing the heart-to-heart thing. Also, she just passed her bar exam and her parents are nowhere to congratulate her. Spoiler end.
But even despite these problems, I realized something at the end. I cared about these characters. This is due in large part to the performances, particularly Steve Carrell whose almost always likeable, Ryan Gosling who seems to channel a more suave version of Barney from How I Met Your Mother, and Emma Stone who has just the right amount of quirky. And some parts really made me laugh, especially the big scene during the mini-golf surprise. These pluses save this film from being a poor film to an okay film.