Tuesday 20 September 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Ryan Gosling Week continues at British cinemas with this film starring Ryan Gosling and some other people who stand near Ryan Gosling but aren't Ryan Gosling, but that's OK because Ryan Gosling is in it and yeah.
Despite being the most irritatingly-punctuated romantic comedy of the year, Crazy, Stupid, Love. is actually one of the best, at least for its first snortingly guffaw-laden hour. It's no Bridesmaids, but thanks to a genuinely funny script and some welcome underplaying from the usually-unfunny Steve Carell, it's as enjoyable a rom-com as you're going to get without being fed the same reheated chick-flick cabbage that the likes of Friends With Benefits expect you to swallow.

Thanks to assured direction by the spellcheck-troubling duo of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, eight characters with intertwining storylines all get their fair share of screen time, and it's edited well enough so that nobody's off screen long enough to miss them. It also helps that none of the cast try to steal the film from under the noses of their co-stars - although one inevitably does, purely by virtue of being Ryan Gosling.

The Goz, in his first broadly comedic role, proves once again that his powers are without limit, and despite his character being a bit of a misogynist asshat, he's impossible not to like. He's confident, kind to strangers in bars, wears an entire catalogue of incredible suits like he's doing them a favour and mixes an Old Fashioned cocktail in pornographic close-up. I left the film ready to pick out curtains with him and I wasn't the only one.
In non-Gosling news, there are some great touches throughout: a couple of crowd-pleasing uses of slow motion and a bravura shot in a bar set to Goldfrapp's magnificent 'Ooh La La' raise the entertainment levels, and a cheeky plot wrinkle that I was having too much fun to see coming kicks off the final act.

Sadly this is where all the good work unravels and Crazy, Stupid, Love. reaches its own unexpected full stop. The obvious serious psychological problems that have placed some of the characters in the story remain unexplored despite early hints that we might find out why, for example, Gosling a) uses women like disposable cutlery and b) would act so selflessly towards Carell. The script teases a complexity that it's too scared to develop, which feels like a waste of a talented cast. What's more, just as the film was declaring its originality in a crowded market, it blunders into a clich├ęd finale that comes from nowhere and feels decidedly out of place.

Still, for the most part it's enormous fun and, despite being the least great Ryan Gosling film out this week, is still a new Ryan Gosling film, and should therefore be celebrated for that alone.


  1. Good Review! Overall, the film is too conventional for my liking. It needed to be sharper, wittier, and funnier. But for average summer fare, it's okay. It's far from perfect and runs on the long side, but rom-com and chick flick lovers will likely be satisfied.

  2. Will there be a grown up Goose week to follow the Gosling Week?
    Trivia - Howard Hughes made the H-4 "Spruce Goose" which has the largest wingspan of any aircraft to have flown (97.54 m the Airbus 380 is only 79.75 m).