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Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love

The latest Steve Carell vehicle

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

  • Crazy, Stupid, Love.
  • Steve Carell as Cal Weaver and Julianne Moore as Emily in "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
  • Emma Stone as Hannah and Ryan Gosling as Jacob Palmer in "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love.
  • Jonah Bobo as Robbie and Julianne Moore as Emily in "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
  • Jonah Bobo as Robbie in "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
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This movie was surprising in many ways.

The film didn't feature Beyonce’s song "Crazy in Love," or two beautiful ballads from the early '70s, Van Morrison’s "Crazy Love" or Poco’s song of the same name.There is a preview running on TV that plays a song that works, Queen’s "Crazy Little Thing Called Love."

The way Ryan Gosling approaches Steve Carell, who just had his wife (Julianne Moore) ask for a divorce, seems believable.

You get that usual scene where the good looking person shows the loser (Steve Carell) how to dress. It’s done quickly, and we see that Gosling, who plays the good looking man, makes good suggestions; although there are two movie clichés I’m sick of – the constant slapping in the face, and throwing away the old clothes. Why throw away Carell’s shows when he has to still walk around the mall?

Emma Stone, who’s taking all those roles Lindsay Lohan would have if she wanted to act instead of party, didn’t do it for me in this. She was great in Easy A and a few other things, but something about watching her deal with a boyfriend that doesn’t want to commit (played by singer Josh Grobin), just didn’t ring true.

One of the other plots, involving the son that has a crush on the older babysitter, doesn’t work either. It’s gross at times, and pathetic at others. Now, the babysitter having a crush on Carell – that’s hysterical. Not just the direction it eventually takes, but just the way she lashes out on Moore for leaving him; or approaching the “popular” girl at school for advice.

Kevin Bacon's character ispursuing Moore, even though she’s coming out of a marriage and has kids that would like to see their parents stay together.

Marisa Tomei only has a handful of scenes, but she steals the show. Her initial scene was a bit over the top, but her later ones work wonderfully.

There’s also an appearance by one of the most underrated comedians around, former Daily Show correspondent Beth Littleford.

The film has a few missteps.It’s all over the map at times, but it’s generally well paced and plays it straight during the times it should. This makes the romantic moments really work. Two scenes with Carell talking to his wife are among the most romantic I’ve seen on film in years.

The movie ends up working because it’s a smart comedy. That’s rare these days.