There’s good news in the air for cinema fans. The rom-com genre, a strong forte of Hollywood that was sadly dwindling thanks to some totally lacklustre films in the past few years, is back with a bang. The proof is “Crazy, Stupid Love”, one of the best romantic comedies of our new millennium, and a laugh riot to boot.
Cal’s (Steve Carell) world turns upside when his wife for over 25 years Emily (Julianne Moore) reveals that she has slept with a co-worker and wants a divorce. He moves out of his house and frequents a bar where a casanova Jacob (Ryan Gosling), taking pity on his self-pity, teaches him the moves to make women fall for him. To complicate matters are Cal’s children, their baby sitter’s crush on him and a mad English teacher.
It’s been some time that a romantic comedy has either been romantic or comic. Many of them are witty or have slap-stick humour. But genuine, situational humour, funny observations about life and relationship and a true squeezing of a story’s potential to make you laugh your guts out have been rare. That is the reason that this film shines amidst dull contemporaries.
In terms of poignancy, you can call it the “American Beauty” of rom-coms. While “American Beauty” manages to get the satire out of marriage and its fall out, this one gets the humour out of it.
And what’s more, it’s got a totally unexpected twist in the end like a thriller and a scene after that which will totally sweep you off your feet with its humour.
The shots are conceptualized beautifully and best of all the directors – Glenn Ficarra and John Requa – know the importance of silences and pauses even in a comedy that usually rely on a lot of dialogues. It ends up being as poignant as it is hilarious and totally natural in its execution.
Yet, at the core of it, this one is a film for the family. What it is to fall in love, to stay in it, to fall out of it and to fall back in again. It analyses the concept of love from various viewpoints, that of a young boy in love with a much older girl, a young girl lusting for a man more than double her age, of a long married husband and wife now bored with each other and a lustful smooth-talking man who always has his way with women.
It shows how our viewpoint of love is influenced by the loves of those around us.
And it is to the credit of a stellar cast that brings the eccentricities and love in their character out front. Steve Carrell and Juliana Moore are at their usual best, while Ryan Rosling will steal many pretty young things’ hearts with his antics.
Yet, beyond it all, it is the smart screenplay of Dan Fogelman that, despite its flaws, manages to keep you focused on its strengths.
This one’s bound to go down in history as one of the most original rom-coms of all time. And that is no small achievement.