Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. ★★★★½

Love Is In The Airpril - The Romcom Project

Enthusiastic noises by the many person who expressed interest in this project marked Crazy, Stupid, Love out as one of the films I was most looking forward to in it, and it was a hope well rewarded.

Ficarra and Requa's I Love You Phillip Morris didn't really work for me despite an interesting approach and some good ideas. I think if I'd known this was by them (and I'm not that interested in anything else they've done) then my expectations would have been a fair bit lower. And I might even have enjoyed this even more.

But as it is, the fresh approach to the romcom and some different ideas are visible here as well. They seem to have understood that freshness will only take you so far, though, and added a lot more jokes and funny situations, but not at the expense of a very strong dramatic and emotional core. They even throw in one of the best twists I've seen for some time, working perhaps even better because you don't normally expect twists in a romantic comedy.

The style and layout of it is significant though. It drifts between a few different relationships here rather than following a central relationship that dominates the rest of the film. It's very relaxed in what it's doing before the dramatic coming-together of everyone near the end. I think if there's a weakness here, it's in the fact that it doesn't end there. The school speech is a rather weak bow to romcom convention when it works so hard to skirt those, and succeeds almost every step of the way.

That it's the only weakness shows what a strong, funny and likeable film this is. I honestly couldn't narrow it down to even my favourite five moments, let alone one. Everyone has their moments, perhaps Ryan Gosling more than anyone. This guy has a natural gift for comedy that is SO charming that he can take an arrogant womaniser and still make him likeable even when he's trying to pull every woman in sight. How's he done that?

His apartment scene with Emma Stone isn't going to have me groping for a sudden watch of La La Land, but clearly they need to be paired up again in something else that I would actually consider watching. It's a wonderful scene not just because it goes in a totally different direction than expected, but because it feels so natural in doing so and because it doesn't make a big thing about two people going against their usual instincts.

I could have done with more of Marisa Tomei as the insane teacher and Liza Lapira as Stone's pushy best friend. And perhaps more of Gosling's slow-motion pizza eating. And more of Gosling taking Steve Carell shopping. And more of Julianne Moore's experiences with Twilight. You get the idea. This should have been 5 hours long.