Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Amidst the current trend of comedies which walk the tight rope between comedy and vulgarity, Crazy, Stupid, Love marks a refreshing entry teetering upon the edge between comedy and tragedy. It's a delicate balance which escapes many (dare I say most?) film makers who are under the impression that making comedy is easy. Crazy, Stupid, Love makes no such allusions.

Crazy, Stupid, Love admirably goes for broke in its quest for perfect comedy and very nearly hits the mark. Its mission is a difficult one, stepping about the minefield of relationship double standards is a tricky task and somewhat of a speciality for Steve Carell who has forged a career from uncomfortable comedy. Unfortunately Carell is not my favourite comic and this, combined with an over reliance on the charm of Ryan Gosling (his magic doesn't work on me either), results in a first hour which consistently veers towards the tragic where laughs are scant and the mood is dry. Julieanne Moore doesn't help much; she's great with drama but comedy? Not so much.

Thankfully the film picks up immensely in its second half with Marissa Tomei and Emma Stone adding some much needed colour, both actresses adept at portraying drama from behind a thin facade of joy in stark contrast to the dour delivery of Carell, Gosling and Moore.

With the convergence of all the narrative threads, however, the film finishes very strongly and the cleverness of the script is revealed to be significant. A film of two parts for me, then: a good part and a bad part; thankfully finishing on the good part so that the overall impression of the film is positive.
Stuart Jamieson

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