'Crazy Stupid Love' Review: I Wanted to Love It, But Couldn't

crazy stupid loveLet me start by saying that I really really really wanted to love Crazy Stupid Love, which opens today nationwide. I was all set for it to be my new favorite movie, to buy the DVD, to watch it every few months and feel all warm and gooey inside. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. I went to a screening of Crazy Stupid Love a week or two ago, and I'll admit: My expectations were possibly a little too high. But can you blame me? Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone? How could the movie not be an A+?

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's a solid B-. Not even Ryan Gosling's "photo-shopped abs" could change my mind. And trust me, I'm more upset about this than anyone.

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The movie stars Steve Carell as Cal Weaver, a complacent husband who's lost his sense of manhood. After his wife, Julianne Moore, says she wants a divorce, Cal meets Ryan Gosling in a bar who helps lost Cal get his groove back. Sounds so touching and funny, I know, but they lost me when Cal's 13-year-old son Robbie started getting all the screen time. All of it.

My biggest problem with the movie is that it focused too much on the young boy's love story. With talent like Gosling, Carell, Moore, and Stone waiting in the wings, I'm not sure why writer Dan Fogelman (Cars, Bolt) wanted to give so much of his storyline to the young kid. It was so frustrating! Get to the Carell/Gosling scenes already! Stop annoying us with this cloying kid who's in love with his babysitter!

The plot beats us over the head with the idea of finding and believing in a one, true love -- sappy dialogue and a very, very unrealistic school speech were just too much for me.

Gosling and Carell's chemistry is fantastic, Julianne Moore is flawless, and Emma Stone delivers her punchy lines with realism and wit. For me, that's what keeps this movie above a C. That, and Gosling shines as a womanizing creep. He's the kind of guy who you'd say "yes" to a date to knowing full well he'll break your heart. But the rest of the cast's talent is wasted while we spend time watching a seventh grader discover what love his. Blech.

Oh yeah. There's also an unexpected twist in the film, but it seems to wrap things up a little too nicely.

I wouldn't see this in the theaters or, if you do, go in with low expectations. Crazy Stupid Love is a good one to download for a long bus ride: It will keep you entertained just enough to forget that you're on a long bus ride. The flick isn't crazy, it's not a little bit stupid, and it's not the best interpretation of love. But that's just me.

Do you think you'll see Crazy Stupid Love in the theaters?


Photo via warnerbros.com/crazystupidlove

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