Go see it.
What else do you need to be told? Okay, more? Well, it’s really really well written. Really really funny. Beautifully acted. And the story is one that needs to be told. That’s, in a way, the key to any movie… does the movie NEED to be made? This one did. The story is very simple, with wonderful surprising complexities.
Surprise, that is believable, is really important in storytelling. I think Messers. Requa and Ficarra scored big in that department. There are some pretty large surprises in the film, and hey, I bought into them.
Ryan Gosling is superb. So is everybody.
My favorite is the new girl, or at least new to me, Analeigh Tipton. She plays the babysitter, and she’s wonderful. What a find. What an actress. If you know her, send her my way. I’ve got a movie I want her to star in.
One interesting thing, and I’m not ruining the movie here… the opening scene is in a restaurant and we see lots of feet under tables. Feet playing footsie, etc. We then come to a pair of high heels and then tennis shoes and corduroy pants… Nice way to show us who our people are. Then we see Steve Carell and Julianne Moore. They’re about to order dessert. He says something to the effect of “Let’s say what we want at the same time.” She says, “I want a divorce” as he’s saying “Creme brulee.” It’s great. It’s page one of the screenplay. In the first draft, it was on page two. After a bunch of set up. They got rid of the set up and put the GREAT MOMENT on page one. Yay! Good move.
You do it too.
Another thing that is great, after that grim start for Our Hero, is the Adding Insult To Injury Moment that Michael Arndt talked about when I heard him in Austin. Kick the hero to the curb, make us feel bad for him, then when he’s down, kick him again to really cement the viewer to him. In this case, it’s a little bit after the opening, and Carell is to meet his best friend in a bar… to commiserate and get a little solace. The surprise (and the kicking) is that the Friend tells him that his wife said they had to choose which half of the divorcing couple to stay friends with and the wife insisted it be Julianne Moore. Hero gets dumped by his best friend. After that, we are with him all the way.
A tip of the Akers hat to Mr. Arndt.
What do you think of CRAZY STUPID LOVE? I loved it.