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IN SHORT: A great date flick for grown ups. [Rated PG-13 for coarse humor, sexual content and language. 113 minutes]
Cal Weaver (Steve Carrell) and his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) have hit the marital equivalent of hump day in their relationship. With one child out of the nest and two more still being raised, their marriage is the very definition of what happens when "love at first sight" rules the day. For those not old enough to know (or not old enough to have seen the basic premise on other films or endless TV shows) that means Cal and Emily are each other's one and only. As in sexual experience one and only.
It still happens.
Even better, Cal's 13 year old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) has gotten his first crush, not surprisingly on his 17 years old baby sitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). Jessica, for her part, has her own personal crush -- on Cal (or, more properly, "Mister Weaver") and that would be awkward and cute enough except for one thing . . .
One evening, during their own equivalent of a romantic (ie. no kids) date, Emily 'fesses up that she has cheated on Cal (with a co-worker played by Kevin Bacon) and wants a divorce. If Cal was an angry man, Crazy Stupid Love would be an entirely different kind of movie. But he's not. He's just a good guy who got the woman he wanted and is completely crushed by Emily's request. Not that he doesn't go looking for a replacement.
Sure, there are singles bars that look nice enough but Cal is not the kind of guy who knows the ins and outs of functioning in a singles bar. That is, until Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), the stud muffin of the local bar takes Cal under his wing and provides tutelage on how to become a ladies man. Do not ask us to explain the reasoning. It'll fuel a plot surprise in the third act and by then you'll either have fallen into the "gentle, seen it before but don't care" territory that this rom-com mines, or not. Eventually Cal gets the hang of it and, when all is said and done, beds schoolteacher Marisa Tomei and half a dozen more of his own. Not that he's happy about it. Not that at least one hookup doesn't come back to bite him you know where . . . we write a family friendly site, folks. You fill it in.
Rounding out the film is the story of the one woman Jacob just cannot land. Her name is Hannah (Emma Stone), who is very attractive and just about to begin her professional life as a lawyer. Why Jacob wants her probably has something to do with why she doesn't show any interest in him. What happens when he eventually seals the deal is yet another surprise in the story that we'll not reveal.
Simply put folks, Crazy Stupid Love is a terrifically written romantic comedy whose appeal may be to the generation of people who have already passed the mating and child bearing ages. There aren't a lot of films that would tailor to the 30 something and up audiences but this one is so much fun that those of you who read this site, making notes on what you should rent in six months, should take your mate on a grown-up date.
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Crazy Stupid Love, he would have paid . . .
If we had even the vaguest chance of having a date again at this point in our life, we'd take her here. Crazy Stupid Love isn't the be-all and end-all of movies but it certainly fills the space a dateflick should. And it was fun, too!
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