?s=scenes Crazy Stupid Love

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For the current Vanity Fair cover, the young actress Emma Stone has been outfitted as an overgrown Lolita—bikini, blond hair, flaming-red lips. But in “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” a genial, messy comedy of marital discord and mismatched lovers, Stone has auburn hair and a slightly downturned mouth; she looks like a woman, and she has a direct, clearheaded way about her that suggests the confidence of a potential star. She’s the strongest thing in the movie, though she isn’t part of the main line of the story, which is also the least interesting. It seems that, after twenty-five years, the marriage of Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) is breaking up. Emily has been sleeping with a dull guy in her office (Kevin Bacon, in an unwritten part), and Cal, hearing this news from Emily as she drives them through Los Angeles (the movie’s geography is a little vague), opens the car door and drops to the street like a misplaced bag of groceries. That, I’m afraid, is the highlight of Cal and Emily’s scenes together.

Cal, distraught, airs his troubles in a sleek bar, with amber glass walls and white stonework and a lot of lacquered players—a sort of can-I-buy-you-a-drink store for the always available. Jacob (Ryan Gosling), the king of the bar, a mover in Simon Spurr, Gossuin, and designer stubble, takes pity on the cuckold and teaches him how to pick up women. The king’s own personal closer is “Let’s get out of here,” a line that, unaccountably, seems to work with every woman in the place except one: Hannah (Stone), a law-school graduate, who nimbly dismisses him. At least, at first. She changes her mind, though, and, arriving at his wraparound-glass bachelor pad, demands that he remove his shirt, which he does, revealing a chest and abs so perfectly sculpted that she’s revolted. She says, “Seriously? It’s like you’re Photoshopped!” Men in the audience may be relieved to hear that at least some women find the perfection of a gym body too close to narcissism to be a turn-on, and Stone gives the line, and many others, a quick, precise, tart delivery.

“Crazy, Stupid, Love,” which was directed by the team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, mixes a comedy-of-remarriage plot with a midsummer-night’s serial follies. Cal loves his wife; Jacob is fascinated by Hannah; Cal’s thirteen-year-old son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), loves the teen-ager Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who babysits for Robbie’s little sister; and Jessica loves, of all people, Cal. Written by Dan Fogelman, the script has many parts in motion, and a fair amount of it works delicately and well. Young Robbie boldly and persistently declares himself to Jessica (he doesn’t know that he’s not even in uniform, much less out of his league), and Analeigh Tipton, a tall, slender stalk with huge pouty lips, receives his declarations so sweetly that the scenes don’t humiliate the actors or us. Robbie’s quest is the overstrained hope of adolescence. The subsidiary plotlines are touching and often funny, but Cal and Emily provide the frame for all the goings on (there are a lot more). And who really cares if these nice, ordinary people remain separated or get back together? They met when they were in high school, and, apart from reminiscing about that time, they don’t have much to say to each other. In the remarriage classics (“The Awful Truth,” “The Philadelphia Story,” “His Girl Friday”), the former partners have a way of talking and being with each other that they don’t have—and couldn’t possibly have—with anyone else. That sophisticated metaphor for sexual compatibility made for uniquely satisfying romantic comedy. But “Crazy, Stupid, Love” holds to the boring modern convention that good people are inarticulate, and Cal and Emily mainly stumble around trying to fill the silence.


Julianne Moore may be too earnest an actress for rigidly structured commercial comedy. She tries to find some hard truths in the role, and she makes Emily angry, vague, and even a little dim. The character is parched and not very likable. Steve Carell has his ordinary-guy’s affect: straight, parted brown hair, elongated, almost-Cyrano nose, slightly rabbity fear of everything. Even in masochistic roles (“The 40 Year Old Virgin,” “Date Night”) in which he plays a guy one-upped sexually by other men, he always conveys the sense that he’s a rational man trying to keep his integrity, no matter how bullied and miserable he feels. It’s not clear to us that Cal, who works at something or other in an office, is good at anything in particular except moping around the back yard of the family house at night after he has moved out. Carell, trying to keep up with Jacob’s smarmy patter in the bar, seems more comfortable acting with Ryan Gosling than with Moore. Gosling, a serious fellow who usually plays alcoholics or drug addicts or murderers, refuses to distance himself from Jacob by parodying the role. His Jacob is not an ironist. He really thinks he’s God’s gift to women—apparently, no one before Hannah has told him otherwise—and he wants to spread the glory, slapping Cal to get his attention, and then leading him through a makeover, dressing him in Canali and Zegna, and teaching him such startlingly original moves as not to talk about himself when he meets a woman in a bar. Applying his superlative new techniques, Cal has his mishaps and his successes, but the filmmakers believe in soul mates forever, and that kind of thing, and the audience may not want to think about the aftermath of the movie, in which Cal and Emily discuss, again and again, that magical year they met in high school.

Source : http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/08/01/just-the-sex

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