“Crazy, Stupid, Love”

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My youngest daughter loves movies so much she routinely goes to them by herself. Every once in a while she asks me to go with her and I usually agree, not because I’m that into movies, but as a way to spend time with her.

Which is why I found myself going to a Steve Carell movie yesterday.

It’s not that I dislike Steve Carell. But I’m usually only mildly amused by his movies. He has a lot of heart, but let’s face it, he’s primarily a comedic character.

Well, not so in “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”

That’s the first thing I want to say. The second is that the movie itself was an unexpected treat. More than that, it’s a movie I would really love to see again. And I almost never watch movies more than once (as opposed to my children who are able to quote movie lines ad nauseum). But this one was so delicious, I can’t help but want seconds.

I don’t want to spoil one second of this film for you, so I’m not going into details about the plot. Suffice it to say that if you want to be amused and touched, if you want to laugh and cry, if you want to see one of the best romantic comedies of at least the last decade, then go see this movie. And don’t watch any trailers: the movie is even better when you don’t know what to expect.

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Ellen Keim

Ellen is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with three cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.

3 thoughts on ““Crazy, Stupid, Love””

  1. I’m surprised that, as a feminist, you didn’t find this movie extremely problematic. I did. Women are treated very badly in this film. The recurring theme is to not give women a choice in romantic relationships. For example: everything Ryan Gosselin’s character says and does, and Robbie continuing to harass Jessica even after she told him in no uncertain terms that he was making her uncomfortable. He didn’t stop–his prize. Naked pictures of her. This sends an awful message to boys and men, and treats women as almost exclusively sex objects.

    1. You know, I didn’t even think to dissect the film from a feminist perspective. Which is unusual for me. Now that I think of it, I didn’t even like the film that well until the Gosling character fell in love with Hannah. And I thought Hannah was a bit of a twit when she kept hoping that the guy from her law firm was going to ask her to marry her–especially when there was no evidence that they’d even been dating.

      As for the Carell character: I thought he was being very immature about the break-up, but at the same time, I could see a man acting this way. (I HAVE seen men acting this way.) And when Gosling was trying to teach him to be cool, I thought it was funny.

      I didn’t like Gosling at all until he “changed.” Of course, the obvious question is: could he really change from being such a snarky creep to a sensitive, loving man just by falling in love with a “good” woman? I agree that this sends a weird message to women: it makes them think they can change a man just by loving him. It’s the stuff of romance novels.

      But you know what? I still loved the movie. Maybe there’s a part of me that is still a romantic. Even after going through three divorces and being married four times, I still like to think that there are special people (not necessarily only one) in the world that you really “click” with and that the ideal is to end up with someone like that. I did.

      Thanks for awakening my consciousness. I guess I wasn’t feeling very “feminist” the day I saw the movie.

    2. You know, I didn’t even think to dissect the film from a feminist perspective. Which is unusual for me. Now that I think of it, I didn’t even like the film that well until the Gosling character fell in love with Hannah. And I thought Hannah was a bit of a twit when she kept hoping that the guy from her law firm was going to ask her to marry her–especially when there was no evidence that they’d even been dating.

      As for the Carell character: I thought he was being very immature about the break-up, but at the same time, I could see a man acting this way. (I HAVE seen men acting this way.) And when Gosling was trying to teach him to be cool, I thought it was funny.

      I didn’t like Gosling at all until he “changed.” Of course, the obvious question is: could he really change from being such a snarky creep to a sensitive, loving man just by falling in love with a “good” woman? I agree that this sends a weird message to women: it makes them think they can change a man just by loving him. It’s the stuff of romance novels.

      But you know what? I still loved the movie. Maybe there’s a part of me that is still a romantic. Even after going through three divorces and being married four times, I still like to think that there are special people (not necessarily only one) in the world that you really “click” with and that the ideal is to end up with someone like that. I did.

      Thanks for awakening my consciousness. I guess I wasn’t feeling very “feminist” the day I saw the movie.

      P.S. Robbie was definitely over the top. He was harassing Jessica. The message at the end that he shouldn’t give up on love didn’t really fit what he was doing. And the naked pictures–ew!

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