Crazy, Stupid, Love [Blu-Ray]

Glenn Ficarra & John Requa

BY Robert BellPublished Nov 17, 2016

Beyond the craziness and stupidity of the titular love, this milquetoast, occasionally meandering star-power comedy suggests that the relentless and unpredictable nature of amour comes only once in life, so if you screw it up, you not only deserve to be miserable, but also are setting a terrible example for an entire generation of impressionable kiddies. We also learn, with somewhat more acuity, that trendy bars contain only unhappy, promiscuous men and self-hating, culturally adherent females willing to contract herpes in exchange for fleeting validation. None of this is really a surprise, since writer Dan Fogelman comes from the world of sanctimonious, Disney, Judeo-Christian ethos, having both Cars films and other uplifting animated fare under his belt. And while he dirties things up a bit by having his characters engage in such lewdness as infidelity, self-degradation, 45-minute fellatio and one-night stands, he still waxes antiquated by having Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily Weaver (Julianne Moore) rekindle their lost nuptial spark after she gets carnal with a sleazy co-worker (Kevin Bacon) and asks for a divorce. If this weren't enough to warm the cockles of Baptists everywhere, there's also a substantial subplot pointing out that everyone outside of the heteronormative box is unhappy. Man whore Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) sleeps with a different girl every night, even teaching Cal the tricks of the trade – a haircut, some bronzer, tacky label clothes and doling out fake compliments – only to learn that he's not happy at all; he wants Cal's traditional suburban life, which he learns from the spunky Hannah (Emma Stone). Exacerbating this is a storyline involving Cal's son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), whose crush on babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) turns despondent after his father's inability to stay married crushes his youthful idealism. Fortunately, there are some fun gags in the midst of the fire and brimstone, mostly involving Emma Stone making fun of Ryan Gosling's superficiality and Marisa Tomei's inexplicable horniness. But even these amusing diversions can't save a film that boasts a climax at a junior high graduation where the central characters narcissistically ramble on about their personal lives in front of a blank-faced gymnasium full of friends and neighbours that appear truly invested for no apparent reason. At least everyone lives happily ever after, unlike real married couples that can quietly resent each other and stay obsessively preoccupied with work, kids, home renovations, impressing the neighbours, booking lame cruises and trying out newfangled diets every three months. The Blu-Ray is light on supplemental material, having a brief interview with Gosling and Carell about fake drinking in a bar and staring at Gosling's schlong, along with another brief interview with Stone and Gosling about filming in the nude and Dirty Dancing.

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