Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
Romance Comedy Drama
1 hr. 47 min.
Year of Release:
July 29, 2011 (wide—2,900+ theaters)
DVD: November 1, 2011
marriage in the Bible
Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
What does it mean to be “the husband of one wife”? Answer
“This is crazy. This is stupid. This is love”
Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 25 years. To his shock and horror, Emily (Julianne Moore) says she wants a divorce and even confesses to having slept with one of her co-workers. Having his whole world shattered, Cal spends several nights at a cocktail lounge, blurting out his woes to whoever will listen. Taking pity on him is Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a professional bachelor of sorts, who offers take Cal under his wing and help him become a new man.
Though he helps Cal gain new confidence and the secrets of picking up different women, Jacob soon finds his chance at love when a girl named Hannah (Emma Stone) refuses his advances, and later on, they spend one night talking and laughing for hours. Struggling in love is also Cal’s 13-year-old son, Robbie. With surprising maturity, Robbie (Jonah Bobo) firmly knows that he loves his seventeen-year-old babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). Though she repeatedly denies Robbie’s declarations, Jessica already has her eyes on another guy: Cal Weaver.
This film does offer some humor, but it’s mostly a serious piece. It attempts to show how love can affect us at any age. “Crazy, Stupid Love” has a good amount of heart to it, and with several plots going on, some stories aren’t given as much time to further develop. My favorite storyline was of Jacob and Hannah. Both Stone and Gosling share excellent chemistry, and sadly their relationship wasn’t given enough time to fully develop.
Though “Crazy, Stupid Love” is rated PG-13, it’s entirely an adult film since it contains very mature content. The following paragraphs will contain slight spoilers since several of the plot devices are worth noting to any potential viewers.
The profanity and vulgarity is heavy. God and Jesus’ name is misused at least 20 times. In all, I counted 26 instances of profanity: 7 sh_t, 1 f__k, 1 SOB, 12 ahole, etc. The words “screw”, “d_ck” and “bang” are used as well. During his makeover, Jacob tells Cal that his eyes look like Hugh Hefner’s genitals. When Hannah’s friend spots Jacob at the cocktail lounge, she calls Hannah and tries to convince her to come to the lounge. She makes sexual suggestions that Jacob should “show you his ceiling” and a comment about the “gentle curve of his c_ck”. Cal repeatedly says that he was cuckolded by his wife. Near the end of the film, one of Cal’s former one-night stands flips him off.
For the majority of the film, Jacob is a womanizer and tells Hannah she’s sexy and that he’s a ‘tomcat in the sack”. He also makes flirtatious innuendos to other females. In a few scenes, Jacob is naked with Cal’s head blocking his crotch area. During one of these scenes, Cal falls over and lands on Jacob’s groin. After a troubled evening, Hannah kisses Jacob and asks if her still wants to take her home. At his place, they discuss his typical signature moves and are shown kissing on his bed.
Though never mentioned by name, it’s heavily implied that Jessica walks in on Robbie as he’s masturbating. Later, Robbie tells Jessica that he thinks of her while he does it and that he also looks at a picture he has of her. While Jessica does tell the young teen that his advances are inappropriate, at the end of the film, she gives him nude photos of herself as some sort of peace offering. She tells him that the photos “will help him get through high school.”
These nude photos were originally meant for Cal. Since Jessica believes herself to be in love with the married father, she goes to a promiscuous student at her school for advice in how to get an older man to notice her. After congratulating Jessica for being “dirty”, the teen then advises Jessica to take dirty photos of herself to give to Cal. By doing this, the student assures Jessica that Cal would no longer see her as a little girl.
The movie mentions several times that Jessica is seventeen, making her clearly a minor. When she takes the photos, she’s shown putting on make up and taking off her robe. Only her feet and bare shoulders are shown as she tries different poses.
After his lessons with Jacob, Cal does commit adultery with nine women. Only one is shown going home with him. In his nervousness, he tells her that he’s looking at her breasts. While at his apartment, they are shown kissing and taking off some clothing. Later on, he runs into her while with Emily. In a fit of anger, she tells Emily that she had to go “downtown” on Cal for 45 minutes since he was nervous.
The movie does have a very positive message of marriage and monogamous relationships. Its motif is to never give up one’s soul mate, though in Robbie’s case this was a bit too relentless. While Cal does sleep with other women during the separation, he soon tells Emily that he only wants her. He also says that he should have fought for her,, and he soon focuses on winning her back… In addition, Jacob loves Hannah and gives up his womanizing ways to be with her, making his love believable. In 1 John 3:18, it reads:
“… . Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”
“Crazy, Stupid Love” is filled with top-notch talent. I especially liked Ryan Gosling’s performance and that of Jonah Bobo. However, I don’t personally recommend “Crazy, Stupid Love”. Yes, the movie does have positive messages, but I do not feel that the positive outweighs the negative. Perhaps the film’s biggest plot distraction was that of Jessica and Cal. If they were to have eliminated this storyline and focused on the others, it would have been more enjoyable.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.