When the film was in theaters, you couldn’t change the channel without coming across a trailer for Crazy, Stupid, Love. Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, and Emma Stone, the film had enough talent in its cast to become something special. It proved to be a successful outing with audience members, and Warner Brothers has recently released a Blu-ray edition of the film. Is it worth picking up? Or does this one deserve to be divorced?
Crazy, Stupid, Love. was directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and saw release near the end of July 2011. The film features the emotional exploits of a host of characters, and while the film has a main plot, it focuses primarily on the lives of four individuals with a bunch of support characters thrown into the mix. With everything that’s going on, it’s worth mentioning that the film never loses sight of what it wants to accomplish. It does what it sets out to do, quite successfully, and all the little distractions in between add flavor rather than detract. In a nutshell it’s a good flick, but just what it is all about?
Cal (Carell) and Emily (Moore) have been married for quite some time and things seem to be going well, at least that’s what Cal thought. One night over dinner Emily drops the “divorce” bomb on him and on the car ride home she admits to having an affair with co-worker, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). Naturally Cal is crushed. So much so that he even jumps out of the moving vehicle in disbelief. Disheartened and defeated he moves into an apartment and finds himself nursing cocktails at a local bar he always wanted to visit, but never really had the need for.
While wallowing in his own misery and ruining the nights of those around him, he’s soon taken under the wing of Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), who promises to help Cal rekindle his manhood. Jacob is cool as a cucumber and is quite the ladies man. Sure he’s attractive and in great shape, but the words he uses, the way he dresses, and how he acts all seduce women with great efficiency. It’s a skill he soon teaches to Cal to help the man get back on his feet.
Throughout all this Cal and Emily frequently bump into each other and each reminisce about their relationship. They were childhood sweethearts and had a lot of great times together. Sure one would think that it was Emily’s fault for having an affair, but Cal was to blame as well, having given up on love and becoming complacent. Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a tale about their falling out of, and into, love. Their angle is handled well, and everything else that happens around them is simply icing on the cake.
For instance, Jacob secretly admires Cal for having had a relationship for so long. He wants to find his soulmate and all the floozies he gets into bed just aren’t cutting it. That’s when he meets Hannah (Stone), a cutie stuck in a boring relationship, and soon his world is turned upside down. In addition to Jacob’s search for love, Cal’s son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), is mad about his babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). Adding more fuel to the love affair fire is the fact that Jessica, a mere 17, has a schoolgirl crush on Cal.
It’s one glorious relationship fiasco after another as every character in the script tries to find love in some fashion. The comedy that is here works, and it works well. It’s mostly attributed to the acting chops of the cast members, but the film does have some intelligent moments to it. One of its saving graces is that it never plays itself too strongly. Divorce is a tragic thing that splinters a family, but Crazy, Stupid, Love. shows that side while focusing on the highlights of love all at the same time. It’s a fine balance that the film manages to accomplish surprisingly well and it leads to a successful romantic comedy despite having well-tread material.
On Blu-ray Crazy, Stupid, Love. looks good and is a solid performer, but not an amazing one. The film comes with a 2.4:1 aspect ratio complete with full 1080p high definition and AVC encoding. Colors are vibrant and warm for the most part and the picture maintains a nice level of sharpness. Black levels provide plenty of detail and sharpness is never in question as it’s steadily impressive. All in all the transfer is more a standard one than one that rises above, but that’s perfectly fine in this case.
The audio in Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a nice accoutrement to the video. With a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio surround track as its main sound source, you’re getting all you’d expect. The vocals, ambient noise, and music are pitch-perfect and crystal clear. While the track does tend to be a little more front-centric, there’s some room in the soundstage as ambient noise filters through to create atmosphere. A good example of that is when Cal is visiting the bar. It’s simple but effective, and frankly on par with expectations for a romantic comedy.
The supplemental features on this release are relatively slim pickings, but there’s still some stuff to sift through. For starters the packaging includes a Blu-ray copy, a DVD copy, and a streaming Ultraviolet Digital Copy. Roughly twelve minutes of deleted scenes are included here along with two brief spots: “Steve and Ryan Walk into a Bar” and “The Player Meets his Match”. “Steve and Ryan” focuses on the pair of actors and their experience working on the film while “Player” looks at character of Jacob with Gosling and Stone.
While I wouldn’t say Crazy, Stupid, Love. is the next big thing, I must admit it’s a charming comedy with a fantastic cast. For all its unnecessarily goofy moments there’s a solid script and great acting backing up the laughs and heartfelt moments. Those in the market for a good, but not groundbreaking, romantic comedy won’t go wrong with this one. Consider it recommended.