Crazy Stupid Love on Blu-ray
Crazy Stupid Love came out in theatres nearly a year ago. I’m usually one to avoid romantic comedies at all costs. Unless, somehow I’m coerced into it on some date, or in a group setting where I can’t politely excuse myself to leave and gauge my eyes out instead. Which is what I’d rather do. Yes, this even goes for those that received excellent reviews, just like Crazy Stupid Love. However, I’m really into Julianne Moore. Steve Carell still holds some appeal for me because of the first four seasons of The Office. Emma Stone seems to do no wrong. And I was even swept up in the Gosling-mania of the summer of 2011 (let’s all just celebrate being able to stream Drive on Netflix for a moment).
So yes, Crazy Stupid Love seemed stupidly perfect for me to go see. Carell plays a man named Cal Weaver. He’s as bland as his name. His marriage to Emily, played by Moore, is failing really quickly. Despite the couple having what are probably real problems that go with a, what, a twenty-five year marriage, the story seems to blame it on Cal’s inability to buy a suit that fits, and his affinity for wearing worn-out New Balances with khakis. After asking for a divorce, Cal starts frequenting a bar that charges $17.75(!) for a cranberry and vodka, where he’s adopted by the supremely smooth Jacob (a perfectly chiseled Ryan Gosling).
Under Jacob’s tutelage, Cal becomes a well-dressed womanizing machine, taking home all sorts of bar patrons and having awkward sex with them in his awkward apartment. One of these women is played by Marisa Tomei, whose over-the-top performance bears no resemblance to the grit we saw in The Westler. While Jacob’s douch-baggery rubs off on Cal, it seems Cal’s nice guy, every-man-ness rubs off on Jacob. He actually finds a girl he wants to talk with, instead of ‘bang.’ This girl is Hannah, Emma Stone.
It’s all fun enough. I’ll admit that I left the theatre feeling more than just ambivolence, maybe a bit of a smile. It was an easy way to spend a sunny afternoon in August. But rewatching the Blu-ray provides the sort of hindsight that’s a bit too clear for its own good. For instance, there’s the casual production and distribution of child pornography. And somehow it’s meant to be both adorable, and romantic. In the moment it kind of does. It’s only afterward that you’re all like–uh oh, I was duped. There’s also an annoyingly convenient plot device revealed only in the end that provides for a ‘gotcha’ scene that really will ‘get you.’ But the writing cheats enough for you to feel blindsided.
Generally the performances and writing provides some enjoyment. Ryan Gosling’s ability to pull off some incredibly cheesy lines and make him somehow seem vulnerable and innocent (despite probably sleeping with thirty women just throughout the course of the movie). You’ll root for Hannah and Jacob. You’ll want Cal to make up with the Emily. But it’s easy want more from such a talented cast.
The Blu-ray does offer some pretty awesome bonus features, including a highly entertaining interview with Carell and Gosling featuring lots in improvised riffing between the two. The full list of features includes:
- Instant Streaming with UltraViolet Digital Copy
- Steve and Ryan Walk Into a Bar
- The Player Meets His Match
- Deleted Scenes
Warner Brothers provided BFR with a free Blu-ray for this review.