REVIEW: 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' Is a Crazy Smart Movie

One of the best romantic dramedies since “Lost in Translation,” “Crazy, Stupid, Love” is a one-two punch of wit and charm.

An all-star cast, fantastic screenplay and tight direction from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa deftly balance the serious consequences of divorce, the power of childhood romance, the fear of dating and what it really means to grow up, while still managing to keep everything funny.

Carell plays Cal Weaver, an ordinary man who thinks his ordinary world is fine until he learns his wife (Julianne Moore) has cheated on him with her boss (Kevin Bacon). The film explores the trials and tribulations of love from various points of view, such as a childhood crush on the babysitter, the college student romance as well as night owls looking for easy one-night stands.

The razor sharp and witty screenplay by Dan Fogelman separates “Crazy, Stupid, Love” from the recent onslaught of unoriginal and uninspired romantic comedies. Every scene feels like a perfect sketch complete with smart, buoyant dialogue and twists and turns.

Steve Carell’s first post-“The Office” performance is a real winner. Carell drops his usual manic persona and takes on a quiet, insecure and an always charming jilted husband. Julianne Moore delivers a solid performance as Carell’s wife who is going through a mid-life crisis. Marisa Tomei gives a brief but stellar performance as a barfly on the hunt for romance and Emma Stone is frisky as a frustrated law student not sure what type of love she’s looking for.

Rylan Gosling gives the most varied performance of the film as a slimy, womanizing vulture that takes the lost and inexperienced Carell under his wing. Carell and Gosling bring out the best in each other.

How the relationships among all of the characters unfold is a veritable tutorial in ensemble cast storytelling. “Crazy, Stupid, Love” is a crazy, smart movie.

4 out of 5 Stars