Friday, June 1, 2012

3 Short Paragraphs: Crazy, Stupid, Love

2011, Glen Ficarra, John Requa (I Love you Philip Morris) -- download

OK, the idea of two directors isn't usually a good idea but these guys are a long time writing duo (Two Angry Beavers) and their first movie, which I haven't seen yet, got some pretty good acclaim.  We will let them try this out for a while.  And yes, I do like romcoms.  I remember hearing that it was a cut above other expected Steve Carell romcoms and that usually defines whether I will like it, that being a cut above the average dribble.  Yes, dribble not drivel.  I like something just above what a comedy actor normally does.  And that is pretty much what I got.

Its a midlife crisis comedy, but what else could it be starring Steve?  He does hurt & befuddled so well. He loves his life, his middleclass suburban family and father life but when his wife has sex with her coworker, a breakup is hatched.  Steve goes and gets drunk in a local nightclub in his schlumpy clothes and his schlumpy Steve attitude, to only catch the attention of Ryan.  We have already seen this nightclub as the basis for Emma Stone, smart educated and in love with her boyfriend, to reject Ryan Gosling (playing Leisure Suit Larry in this movie) who is astounded a woman spurned his advances.  Meanwhile a highschool girl is in love with Steve because he is the perfect, nice guy. Meanwhile Steve's son is in love with the highschool girl.  There are lots of meanwhiles in this movie.

This is a connected to the connected movie that wants to be a smart comedy. And it succeeds for the most part.  The intertwined plot has some surprises and a lot of cute paths cross.  The dialogue is charming and for the most part, the movie focuses on Jacob (Gosling) taking broken bird Cal (Carell) under his wing and teaches him how to respect himself enough to get any girl he wants.  Jacob is just sleazy enough to be effective (law of averages kinda guy) and disarming enough that we root for him when he falls for Hannah (Stone) who originally rejected him.  The plot weaves around a bit but comes back to a final backyard party where a number of things are revealed and.... which totally surprised me, Cal does not immediately get back together with his wife (Julianne Moore).