Crazy Stupid Love
Starring: Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, | CERT: 12A | RT: 118mins
You’ve got to worry when 30 minutes into a comedy the best joke so far is the one featured in the trailer. Julianne Moore’s character, Emily, confesses to her husband, who she’s just dumped, that she went to see the new Twilight movie by herself: “It was soooo bad,” she sobs.
Really, this was the only gag to elicit a proper belly laugh from the audience during the first half of the film. A pity, because the premise for Crazy Stupid Love has so much comedic potential. The husband in question is Cal (Carrell) – whose life begins to fall apart when his aforementioned wife of 25 years asks for a divorce. Frequenting a bar to drown his sorrows, he meets self-styled ladies’ man Jacob (Gosling) who takes pity on him and vows to turn him into a smooth-talking sex machine. Sadly, the stellar cast struggles to bring the limp, unfunny script, which is peppered with groan-out-loud cliched plot points, to life.
But for all its early problems, the film builds to a brilliant payoff, aided by a sudden twist and one of the funniest set pieces since Kirsten Wiig popped a Mogadon on a flight in Bridesmaids. This moment alone justifies the ticket price.
Carrell plays his usual hapless doofus shtick, perfected in The Office: An American Workplace, but he also digs deep to play an emotionally wrecked father. Moore plays drippy Emily to full effect and Gosling, popping up everywhere at the moment, is pitch-perfect as the pants-man with a vulnerable side. Crazy Stupid Love is engaging, touching and laugh-out-loud funny, once it gets off the ground.
Good for: Anyone who has lost faith in love but wants a good laugh, too
Also out this week:
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan18 | 100mins~
The Scandinavian invasion of Hollywood continues as Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn makes his American debut with this LA-set crime thriller which pays homage to Eighties action flicks. Ryan Gosling plays a stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman for some small-time crooks. All goes swimmingly until a job goes wrong and he discovers a contract has been taken out on his life. Carey Mulligan plays his love interest.
Words Alison Grinter