Share

Guest Review: Crazy Stupid Love vs. Biutiful

Singer/songwriter Rain Perry (and good friend of mine going back several decades) has written up what I think is a good review of Crazy Stupid Love. You can read more about Rain on her site.

Okay, so it was clearly going to be a silly romantic comedy, but Crazy, Stupid, Love. seemed different enough – and not just for its unusually punctuated title – from the recent string of indistinguishable semi-raunchy wedding-related films in the Heigl/Bateman/Aniston/Kutcher oeuvre that I actually went and saw it.

Well, I loved it. I mean I really loved it. Why did I love it so much?

Okay, well, yes.

But I am an intellectual, highly perceptive songwriter, so Ryan Gosling with his shirt off really has no effect on me. It’s really the mind of a man that…okay, that’s bullshit. Ryan Gosling is impossibly hot, and this movie makes epic use of that fact.

But stay with me for a second for a bizarre comparison. Last fall, I went to see Biutiful. I expected it to be intense, but it was excruciating, because – even with its strange magical sequences – it was so relentlessly real. The script, the direction, every performance – it all rang so true to human nature, so utterly raw and honest, that at the end of it I was numb and exhausted. But I’m so glad I saw it, because I felt…I guess the word would be elevated. Staggering out of the theater, I was overwhelmed by the fragile beauty in the world.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is almost exactly the opposite. It’s essentially a big budget Hollywood Rom-Com, which means it’s glossy and unrealistic and occasionally loses its insight and devolves into silly cliches, and yet…when it was over I was crying, and I felt elevated.

Let me try to figure this out. Really, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a fairy tale. But it takes that role seriously. As such, it uses a classic kind of story to navigate the persistent challenges of being human. And it’s an adult fairy tale, in that I can report from a twenty-three year marriage that – in the midst of the requisite hilarity – it accurately captures the disappointment and frustration as well as the abiding passion and enduring sweetness of longterm love.

Julianne Moore holds the market on funny, wounded, plucky, wise female characters – from 30 Rock to The Kids Are Alright to A Single Man – who simply cannot be jaded, no matter what life throws at them. Steve Carell has a knack for revealing his essential humanity through – not just in spite of – the ridiculous scenarios in which he always exists, and the fact that he routinely surrounds himself with complex adult women – from Catherine Keener on – doesn’t hurt.

But the heart of the film belongs to the characters played by Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who are young and exuberant but not naive. They are both on the precipice of resigning themselves to the reality that life is going to be a little less rewarding than they once thought it would be. And then – yes, hijinks ensue – but somehow, through them, the movie affirms that no, it doesn’t have to be like that. You can meet someone when you least expect to who really sees you. You can find a way to reconnect when you’ve gone off-track with someone you’ve loved for a long time.

Life can be really effing hard – not as hard in this silly little movie as in the epic Biutiful by a long shot – but Crazy, Stupid, Love. – through Ryan Gosling’s relentless candor, through Josh Groban’s awesome lawyer hair, through Julianne Moore’s embarrassingly true-to-life mom-isms, through the brother!, through the hokey denouement – this movie sincerely swears to us that grace really can happen, or, to twist Tennessee Williams: “sometimes there’s love, so quickly.”

So, basically, it got me. I loved it. Oh, and you know, this kind of thing was okay too:

0 Comments on this Post

  1. Ryan Adams

    [Thanks for the Pixar tip, Kevin. I moved your news to the WP Wall on the sidebar, and will post the story shortly.]

  2. Ryan Adams

    [Thanks for the Pixar tip, Kevin. I moved your news to the WP Wall on the sidebar, and will post the story shortly.]

  3. Paddy M

    Mmm lordy that man is incredible.

    I have little else to say. There IS nothing to say. That man…

  4. Paddy M

    Mmm lordy that man is incredible.

    I have little else to say. There IS nothing to say. That man…

  5. I don’t get the love for Biutiful (and likely never will), but I rather enjoyed Crazy, Stupid, Love. Have you seen it yet, Sasha? Funny and well-acted all around. This is a very nice review.

  6. I don’t get the love for Biutiful (and likely never will), but I rather enjoyed Crazy, Stupid, Love. Have you seen it yet, Sasha? Funny and well-acted all around. This is a very nice review.

  7. I thought Crazy Stupid Love was one of the best Rom-coms in years, the twist 3/4 through the movie was actually pretty surprising and really well done.. Any chance Ryan Gosling could get a Golden Globe nod for best actor in a musical/comedy? I think so!

  8. I thought Crazy Stupid Love was one of the best Rom-coms in years, the twist 3/4 through the movie was actually pretty surprising and really well done.. Any chance Ryan Gosling could get a Golden Globe nod for best actor in a musical/comedy? I think so!

  9. Profile photo of Ryan Adams

    Crazy Stupid Love deserves as many Golden Globe nominations as The Kids Are All Right — I’d be happy to see it GG nominated for Best Picture Comedy, and Screenplay as well. As a sophisticated sex comedy, Crazy Stupid Love is a lot funnier and far sexier than The Kids Are All Right — in spite of being PG-13.

    TKAAR squanders its R-rating on slapstick unsexy sex scenes. Even though CSL focuses on somebody (everybody!) getting laid in just about every scene, the sex is handled so much more realistically than TKAAR ever tried to do. (It’s as if TKAAR thought the only way it could make lesbian sex palatable to a broader audience would be to ridicule and cheapen it.)

    I’ll get verbally assaulted for saying so, but Julianne Moore gives a much better performance in Crazy Stupid Love than she did in The Kids Are All Right — because her character this year is more complex, and the role is simply better written.

    [I decided to see Crazy Stupid Love last night on the basis on Rain's review. I was gonna give it a skip until Netflix rental. Now happily able to add my informed support.]

  10. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Crazy Stupid Love deserves as many Golden Globe nominations as The Kids Are All Right — I’d be happy to see it GG nominated for Best Picture Comedy, and Screenplay as well. As a sophisticated sex comedy, Crazy Stupid Love is a lot funnier and far sexier than The Kids Are All Right — in spite of being PG-13.

    TKAAR squanders its R-rating on slapstick unsexy sex scenes. Even though CSL focuses on somebody (everybody!) getting laid in just about every scene, the sex is handled so much more realistically than TKAAR ever tried to do. (It’s as if TKAAR thought the only way it could make lesbian sex palatable to a broader audience would be to ridicule and cheapen it.)

    I’ll get verbally assaulted for saying so, but Julianne Moore gives a much better performance in Crazy Stupid Love than she did in The Kids Are All Right — because her character this year is more complex, and the role is simply better written.

    [I decided to see Crazy Stupid Love last night on the basis on Rain's review. I was gonna give it a skip until Netflix rental. Now happily able to add my informed support.]

  11. I absolutely loved this movie. I know it won’t get any Oscar attention and to be honest with its early release date and low box office Globe notice is a bit of a stretch. But this movie, despite some flaws, just really got to me. This is the kind of movie that I can watch again and again and get something new out of. Really, if you haven’t seen it go out right now.

  12. I absolutely loved this movie. I know it won’t get any Oscar attention and to be honest with its early release date and low box office Globe notice is a bit of a stretch. But this movie, despite some flaws, just really got to me. This is the kind of movie that I can watch again and again and get something new out of. Really, if you haven’t seen it go out right now.

  13. phantom

    Low Box Office ? It will end its US-run around 75-80M at least AND it could also become an international hit, as well. I’m fairly certain the studio is satisfied with this kind of “low Box Office”…

  14. phantom

    Low Box Office ? It will end its US-run around 75-80M at least AND it could also become an international hit, as well. I’m fairly certain the studio is satisfied with this kind of “low Box Office”…

  15. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Ryan, I agree. I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as people were saying. I hope Steve Carell gets a nod. Thought it was really pretty good! Has to be one of the best rom coms in a long while.

  16. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Ryan, I agree. I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as people were saying. I hope Steve Carell gets a nod. Thought it was really pretty good! Has to be one of the best rom coms in a long while.

  17. Alice_R

    Crazy Stupid Love and Bridesmaids both should get a nod in the golden globes!

  18. Alice_R

    Crazy Stupid Love and Bridesmaids both should get a nod in the golden globes!

  19. but who was saying it was that bad? (I mean, except jeff wells.) It got really favorable reviews, with 76% at rottentomatoes.

  20. but who was saying it was that bad? (I mean, except jeff wells.) It got really favorable reviews, with 76% at rottentomatoes.

  21. I thought this movie was great and I’m not a rom-com fan at all.

  22. I thought this movie was great and I’m not a rom-com fan at all.

  23. Bob Strauss

    Wow, you’re a pal of Perry’s?

    Cinderblock Bookshelves is one of the best autobiographical albums ever made.

  24. Bob Strauss

    Wow, you’re a pal of Perry’s?

    Cinderblock Bookshelves is one of the best autobiographical albums ever made.

  25. The movie was great and Ryan Gosling – the guy like from Photoshop-really
    the hottest EVER!

  26. The movie was great and Ryan Gosling – the guy like from Photoshop-really
    the hottest EVER!

Leave a Comment

Warning: Do not abuse your right to comment here. You will be deleted.