Last night, the boy and I went to see Steve Carrell's new movie Crazy Stupid Love. It is one of the only movies I have really wanted to see all summer, partially because I don't pay attention like I used to, but I also really like most of the leads in the movie. I thought the movie, which was written by the son from the Birdcage, boasted a lovely narrative and subplots which generally worked for it. I thought the performances were also very good, and only furthered my love for Ryan Gosling (though I find his abs more creepy than attractive). Emma Stone is also going to be big, because she is relatable enough to appeal to women, hot enough to be a fantasy girl for dudes, and nerdy enough that she somehow seems more attainable than most anyone else in her age group. I think she just comes off as very fresh, but I think I have figured out the key- it's something about her diction. She talks like someone who had a lisp or something; this is totally not a slam, I truly think her diction is the key to the new Emma Stone power.
I thought there were moments of the whole that seemed a little cheap (really? A giant speech about true love as the climax? Can I just go home?), but that these scenes were balanced by a couple of truly lovely scenes that rang very true. There is a great scene where Carrell and Julianne Moore sit in a hall waiting for their kid's parent teacher conference, and you actually do feel that sort of depth of experience between them. There is also a scene where a 17 year old forays into sexting (that whole plot... not so sure about), but her efforts at looking sexy seemed very honest. The most fun and romantic of these scenes was a sequence between Gosling and Stone's characters, where their banter is really hilarious, but the romance is seeing a real connection to take place, like they are meeting their match. They intend to just hook up, but they never get there, testing his massage chair and talking for hours instead. It reminds you of how fun it is to get to know someone, and it just felt really romantic in the way love really grows out of just liking somebody else a lot. It made us want to go home and just lay around and joke about nothing, because it just sort of reminded us of how fun and lucky that can be. The sequence is one of the sweetest ever.
Of course, a lot of our banter later was about 1. how do these people have so much money? and 2. was what we just saw a divorced kid's fantasy movie? and the biggest question of all, why does Steve Carrell suddenly seem so handsome at the end of all his movies? Is it related to the light colored blazer? How does he keep tricking people into thinking he is an average looking sad sack? All in all, it was a cute movie that was well-paced and well aware of the cliches it worked around and through. The best romantic comedy I have seen in a while, if only because it recognizes that romance isn't candlelit, and is best paired with some sense of loss, or else it doesn't mean much.