PUA Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid Love Review

By Ben J

Legs wrapping in amorous, scintillating conversation at a dimly lit restaurant opens up one of Steve Carell’s self directed films starring himself. Crazy Stupid Love pretty accurately describes how love is just that, crazy and stupid. Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) jumps out of his car in the beginning because his wife admits to cheating on him with one of her coworkers while his babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), dreams of seducing Cal away from his wife (Emily Weaver, played by Julianne Moore), after she catches Cal’s son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) shaking hands with Mr. Happy, thinking of Jessica. From the first fifteen minutes, there is a painfully obvious and ridiculous love hexagon forming. Not bad for catching attention Mr. Carell!  Crazy Stupid Love already looks pretty interesting!

In essence, the entire premise, moral, and “today I learned” ordeal of Crazy, Stupid Love is simply put –

True love eventually finds a way to work itself out.

While it is a movie, and Hollywood needs to pull on whatever heart strings it needs to make money, it does a pretty good job at it in terms of getting the audience emotionally invested into each character. There’s a certain charm to each individual, and more importantly, easily relatable and quirky flaws. Jessica has a massive crush, but doesn’t know what to do about it. Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling) is painfully unhappy with his life seducing woman after woman, and Emily Weaver still loves her husband and dreams of rekindling their marriage to give herself true happiness. The best part? All of these character motivations are portrayed without blatantly telling the audience. The subtle nature of each individual’s motives and personality are revealed throughout the movie in a tact way that leaves you craving more. The plot is extremely well written and is pretty much a crazy plot twisted love story starring a colorful cast of good-hearted people.

What didn’t work out so well is the pick up techniques used by Jacob Palmer, and how he makes seduction look almost

effortless. In Jacob’s case, it is a painfully simple endeavor because of his tall good looks and eight pack abdominals that were quoted as if “they look like they’ve been Photoshopped.” It seems almost unbelievable that Jacob’s secret “dating fu” powers work for Cal, an older and less limber matured gentlemen to head out to a bar and use the exact same seduction techniques as used by Jacob. Oh, and did I mention that Jacob is played by heartthrob Ryan Gosling? Surely being THAT good looking doesn’t play at all with how easy it is to pick up chicks (/sarcasm)… In the movie, Cal learns the art of seduction from Jacob, and even in his first one night stand, he adds his own personal flavor and special touches that keep Cal the same oddball character he continues to be throughout the film. If Cal didn’t show his dorky, sincere, and honest side throughout the pick up, it would have made the film much less believable.

From a pick up standpoint, Jacob Palmer definitely has the suave coolness and Alpha behavior that women are without a doubt sexually charmed and attracted to. It may be borderline on “too cool for school,” and “hedonistic asshole,” to really pick up a girl, but there’s already too many beta boys out there that need a role model along these lines. Is he a solid role model for seduction students? In the alpha and confident way, yes, but not so much in the sincerity category. Take what he says and does with a grain of salt.

Love is extremely romanticized and played off as something to fight for in the film, and is mainly portrayed through Cal’s son Robbie, as he first believes in love, pursues it, then loses interest at the end. Like all silly romantic movies, there’s the cliché, “Give some crazy long monologue to make everything better and change the perspective of virtually every major character in the film to create a happy ending for everyone!” that’s grotesquely slammed into your face in the final 30 minutes of the movie. Yes, it’s a cliché, but at least the 13 year old gets the babysitter’s nude pictures. Yes, love is romanticized to what movies typically do, but what lessons are there to learn from this? How can we improve ourselves as men from this cinematic overly obvious display of what “true love” is supposed to be?

The premise and overall moral of the story is, “true love eventually finds a way to work itself out,” and in this case, it does work out regardless of who has a crush on who, or who cheated on who, or like in the movie, who’s daughter exactly are you dating? It’s a crazy rush and comically action packed experience, but the moral of the story still stands. “True love eventually finds a way to work itself out.” It’s even stated in the title, Crazy Stupid Love. Unfortunately, the end is created through a cheesy and painful cliché that’s already present in 90% of all romantic comedies (long monologues go! While you’re at it monologue, fix everyone’s problems!) and it sort of kills the moral of the story (that’s crammed down your throat).

However, the sexual humor of the film is extremely hilarious, and totally spot on. When Jacob’s cute redhead is told to get slammed into the headboard until she sees the face of god and discovering the subtle curvature of his c***, it couldn’t have been at a better time and place in the film. Even the slapstick humor is great, like when Cal jumps out of a moving vehicle, or when Jessica’s father rips the wooden fan of a windmill off to lay the smack down (WWE style!) later on in a well scripted and purely hilarious scene at the movie’s climax, the humor is side splitting funny to the bone, and each moment was well thought out on the storyboard.

Romantic comedies like 50 First Dates or My Boss’s Daughter are just filled to the brim with ridiculous situations and corny, “Everything is going to work out just fine!” cliches, but there’s nothing like good old slapstick and sexual humor to cuddle up with on date night with a gorgeous babe. If you’re in the mood for a chick flick that you can tolerate as a man who likes humor, action, and people getting hurt, then Crazy Stupid Love is just for you. But if you can’t stand terrible cliches that end up fixing everything that went wrong, then stay far far away. You want a good date movie? Crazy Stupid Love is the perfect choice, but stick with 300 or Captain America if you’re drinking beer with the bros.