“Crazy, Stupid Love” is the latest Steve Carell vehicle, co-starring the uber-cool Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone—seemingly the ingénue flavor of the month. The tagline for the movie is: “This is stupid.” I couldn’t have described it any better.
I saw this movie the day it opened, but waited to write about it until I figured out why it didn’t work. Two words: Jonah Bobo.
What? You don’t know what a “Jonah Bobo” is? To answer that question, he’s the child actor hired to play Carell’s son Robbie (age 13). The young man delivers his lines well. No question about that. He’s just wrong for the part. He looks like neither of his film parents (Julianne Moore & Steve Carell), has a haircut like a sheepdog, is short and-let’s face it-is somewhat androgynous in appearance. The entire subplot revolving around Robbie’s (Jonah Bobo’s) huge crush on the 4-years-older Jessica, the babysitter (Analeigh Tipton) is made ridiculous by the lumpy kid who, in certain light, could be mistaken for a girl. He has a very Jewish kid look about him, while, to the best of my knowledge, neither of his onscreen parents qualifies. Plus, the graduation scene where his father takes over his son’s speech is just…stupid.
The other big flaw in the film, as written by Dan Fogelman and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, is the finale scene. I won’t spoil it by saying anything other than that it involves a miniature golf prop. The writers just didn’t know when to quit with that scene. Over-the-top just barely describes it. Coincidence upon coincidence with no attempt to emulate reality. It’s crazy, as the title would have it.
The best parts of the film are when Julianne Moore as Carell’s wife asks for a divorce. Reason given? She slept with David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). The brooding Carell is then taken under the wing of the womanizing Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) who dispenses wisdom on being cool like, “Don’t wear New Balance sneakers ever.” Upon meeting Carell in a bar, Jacob says, “I don’t know if I should help you or euthanize you. Do you have any idea when you lost it?” Carell’s character of Cal says, “A strong case can be made for 1984.” From there, it’s lessons on what to wear and how to attract chicks.
The theme rammed down our throats throughout the movie is that “When you find the one, you never give up.” Like father, like son, in that regard…only the son (Jonah Bobo) really ruined it for me.
Marisa Tomei has a small part as Robbie’s English teacher and my companion considered her scenes among the movie’s strongest. I liked the Jake-teaches-Cal-how-to-be-cool parts, the Gosling/Stone scenes, and hated the ending. Waaay too many coincidences and over-the-top clichés stuffed into that ending, boys.
It was just crazy. And stupid.