Crazy Stupid Love (2011) - M7.4/E9
Don’t be fooled by the trailer. If you enjoyed Date Night or Dan in Real Life, you’ll probably like CSL. The trailer made it seem like there would be a lot of sex and raunchy humor, and while there was plenty of implied sex and some coarse humor, it was totally in support of good relationships and striving to make marriages last and not giving up on your spouse (or the one you love). The only reason I pursued watching this was because of Orson Scott Card’s glowing review of the movie.
Cal and Emily’s relationship has reached a potential breaking point. Jacob helps Cal realize that one of the main reasons he “lost” Emily was because he lost his manhood. He had forgotten what was required to be a husband, a father, and ultimately a man. While this fact was very true at its roots, Jacob twisted it and suggested that the solution was to become a tomcat, like himself. Basically, that manhood is nothing more than knowing how to treat women as objects for your own gratification. Jacob’s character may seem very offensive to some, but it’s so obviously satirical, that you can’t take it at face value.
Cal follows Jacob’s advice and does end up reinvigorating his manhood, but knows that anything more than focusing on trying to win his wife’s affections again is unimportant. Amazingly Jacob ends up coming to the same conclusion, though through no searching on his own...it kind of just comes at him like a big, wet kiss. Jacob’s transformation, possibly because it’s so radical, is one of the most inspiring moments of the film. As he’s able to trust someone else with details about his own life, we see the wild tomcat tamed and domesticated.
The pining of the 13-year old for his 17-year old baby sitter was a well created, typical middle school crush (though a mere kiss at the end would have sufficed, those pictures should have been destroyed). I enjoyed how most of the truth and goodness in the movie came from the 13-year old and his faith that his parents would end up back together (and mostly that his father would do anything to get his soul-mate back.)
As mentioned before, there is a lot of coarse dialog and language and some scenes that weren’t necessary. That aside, this is easily one of the best films I’ve seen in the last year.