Movie Review

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for coarse humor, sexual content and language.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance Comedy Drama
Length:
1 hr. 47 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
July 29, 2011 (wide—2,900+ theaters)
DVD: November 1, 2011
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

marriage in the Bible

Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Some people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?

adultery and fornication in the Bible

sin

DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer

divorce in the Bible

What does it mean to be “the husband of one wife”? Answer

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

Featuring: Steve CarellCal
Ryan GoslingJacob
Julianne MooreEmily
Emma StoneHannah
Kevin BaconDavid Lindhagen
Marisa TomeiKate
more »
Director: Glenn Ficarra
John Requa
Producer: Carousel Productions
Steve Carellproducer
Eryn Brown … co-producer
Vance DeGeneres … executive producer
Denise Di Novi … producer
Jeffrey Harlacker … associate producer
Charlie Hartsock … executive producer
David Siegel … executive producer
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“This is crazy. This is stupid. This is love”

Copyrighted, Warner Bros. Pictures

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.

Objectionable content

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.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I LOVED this film and thought it couldn’t give a better message about monogamy, commitment, and even chastity. While I found the plot between Jessica and Cal adorable, the one clanging sour note of the film was Jessica giving Robbie her naked photos—seriously?? That’s just disgusting and ridiculous, for her to bare herself that way to a horny kid and distract him thus—just gross. Other than that, this is one of the best films, message-wise, that Hollywood’s given for a long time.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jennifer, age 26 (USA)
Positive—I have to say that if you go to a movie about infidelity, you should know what you’re getting into. That said, I enjoyed the movie, and my wife and I had a conversation about it later. I like the fact that promiscuity and adultery has consequences for all involved. Except for the uneasiness I felt with the nude photos handed over to teenage boy, all in all, a good experience.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—John, age 50 (USA)
Positive—I went and saw this movie with my boyfriends mom, since my boyfriend is away at Bible college. I hadn’t known anything about the movie, except that it had Steve Carell in it, so I assumed it was more of a comedy. I was surprised at the morbid humor it begins with, but I still found it quite amusing. There were a few awkward parts of sitting next to my boyfriends mom, like when the son is telling his babysitter that he was masturbating to a picture of her, however it wasn’t unbearable.

The twists were great, and I was blown away by some of the later parts. All in all, I thought it was a great movie and I will definitely watch it again. Next time, I’ll see it with my actual boyfriend! :)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jenny, age 19 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—There are offensive instances in this film, but I felt the moral of the story outweighs the bad parts. It seems to portray the biblical teaching of what’s right will become wrong and what’s wrong seems very acceptable/preferred. When it’s all said and done, things turn back to what is right is right and wrong is wrong. Still, even in that, it doesn’t quite rise up to the biblical set free standards, but not too bad for a worldly movie. I would like to add that many movies are crudely offensive, and this one wasn’t to me. Even the part that normally would of left a sourness in my stomach (the c_ck comment) is almost missed because of how it’s understated. The review wasn’t available for me to read, if it had been, I would not have gone. But I am very glad I saw this movie and would go again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sue, age 52 (USA)
Neutral—I thought this movie was somewhat offensive, but mild [compared] to other PG-13 movies that I’ve seen. The plot kept my attention, and all pulled together at the end. I thought they did a great job of showing how seducing sin can be, and in the long run how shallow and empty are its lasting effects. It left me walking away with a realization of fighting for good from the start and not escaping pain by following the lure of the world. I thought Steve Carell did an excellent job of transitioning his characters, and as always, he makes me laugh.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Sue, age 52 (USA)
Neutral—This is an adult film. It is—in many ways—thoughtful. Largely what is wrong with it is that it depicts, with merely some exaggeration, a fallen culture. That a 17 year old girl would be taking pornographic pictures of herself is troubling, but commonplace. That such a girl wants an older man is no longer “out there”—unlike the situation at the time of Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” (1976). It reflects—rather than challenges the culture.

However, I am sick of films that are supposed to be largely realistic that portray happy endings for sinners. In reality, if a wife ditches a husband and commits adultery, things do not work out. Steve Carell’s character’s speech at the graduation from Middle School is unconvincing and treacly. The comedy was well done and often poignant.

I think you—as a Christian—should pass on this film, unless you wish to see how other people live their lives now.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—BP, age 53 (Australia)
Negative
Negative—If this movie is a PG-13 (and the first in that rating I’ve seen in years) then I certainly do not want to see an R rated film. If I had children, they would not be allowed to see this movie before the age of 18, if at all. I would not recommend it to anyone. I was invited to see it and wasn’t aware the film would contain such blatant offences to morality. Divorce, consuming alcohol, extra-marital affairs, and sexual relationships out of wedlock were all present and to a large extent glorified.

The worst aspect of the film morally is that one of the main characters was portrayed to be 13 years old and dealing with his own impending maturity in ways that are not appropriate for Christians. Had I bought my own ticket, I would have walked out in the first fifteen minutes!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Jamie, age 37 (USA)
Negative—We always read reviews on movies before we see them, so we can make an informed decision and know what we are getting into. We had read reviews on “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” and the objectionable content seemed like it would be manageable. The movie stars off very slowly, and with all of the profanity and sexual situations, it is actually somewhat uncomfortable. There was some tense laughter in the theater, so it appeared others felt as we did. About half way through, it does get funnier, and you begin to see the more positive message. We ended up laughing quite a bit and feeling ok about the message.

However, the negative side so far outweighs anything positive, that I could not recommend the movie. I’ve seen counts on the amount of profanity, and I think it was two or three times that much. I live in the real world, but even the non-Christians I know do not talk that raunchy. And it is evenly split between the men and women, young and old. And while there is no actual nudity, lots of skin is shown. And, of course, there is nothing funnier than a 17 year old girl (I believe that is still a minor in most states) taking and giving nude photos of herself, first planned for a much older man and then given to a 13 year old. And, of course, she was given instructions by a fellow classmate (we’ll assume she is 17, as well) who is known to have relations with older men.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Wesley, age 47 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—The story became so foul and immoral I left after a half hour. It was too boring to even stay to see if it got better. I am a huge Steve Carrell fan, which is why I went. Very unfortunate that he chose this salacious content. Nothing funny, nothing romantic during my brief view of this film.
—Halyna, age 65 (USA)