Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love

Well, it’s an apt title. The ‘crazy’ applies to the logic, which has Ryan Gosling as ladies’ man Jacob. When he’s not chatting up his next conquest, he feels compelled to help Steve Carell’s Cal become a middle-aged version of himself. The ‘stupid’ applies to the endless parade of women willing to bed Jacob, having just met him. Perhaps writer Dan Fogelman is a wishful thinker.

For all its flaws, there’s still plenty to love about this ridiculous romp, elevating it from stock-standard romantic comedy into a cute Carell vehicle that combines the adolescent humiliation of American Pie and the middle-aged angst of The 40 Year-Old Virgin.

“The skin under your eyes looks like Hugh Hefner’s ball sack,” is one of several cut-throat lines delivered by a newly gym-cut Gosling. “It’s like you’re photoshopped,” quips Emma Stone’s Hannah the first time she gets a look at his torso.

Balancing out the constant quippery is a film that tightly manoeuvres around its central theme – everyone’s troubled in love, and that love takes on many forms, from the creepy, unrequited variety, to Cal’s lack of self-love, to the heart-breaking complexities of a faltering marriage. There are fine performances from Carell and Julianne Moore as his unhappy wife, Emily. They provide a little more depth to a story that is otherwise destined to culminate in a screwball climax of epically silly proportions. It’s crazy stupid fun, in other words. With a little more heart than most.