I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

The opening scene tells that something's wrong with Cal (Steve Carrell) and Emma's (Julianne Moore) marriage:  all the other couples around them in the restaurant are playing footsie.  They're not.  Emma blurts out that she wants a divorce.  On the ride home, she admits to having an affair with David (Kevin Bacon), a co-worker of hers.  Cal is devastated, and he leaves the house that night. 

Cal starts spending his evenings in a trendy bar where a smooth playboy named Jacob (Ryan Gosling) is very successful with picking up women night after night. Jacob notices Cal moping around and telling his marital problems to everyone in the place.  He decides to make Cal his project by changing his look and teaching him how to get lucky with the ladies.

This is not your usual romantic comedy.  There are no "meet cute" moments, and none of the usual contrived obstacles that people have to overcome to get to true love.  Instead, characters muddle around -- like in real life -- to try and sort things out and handle the changes and surprises along the way.  The 'B' stories support the 'A' story very well: the love that Cal's son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) has for his babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), unaware that Jessica loves someone else close to him and Hannah's (Emma Stone) lackluster relationship with a clueless lawyer named Richard (Josh Groban). 

I like Steve Carrell (Get Smart, Little Miss Sunshine) because he always has this hangdog look about him when playing characters who have been put upon.  Emma Stone (The Help) is good as a woman who's dangerously close to settling for the wrong man.  Marisa Tomei ("A Different World") makes the most of her role as a woman whom Cal meets after his break-up with his wife. 

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