Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Steve Carell and Julianne Moore in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

I’m always wary of romantic comedies, because it’s so goddamn hard to find a GOOD one, you guys. It really, really is. I’m happy to report that while cheesy at times, Crazy, Stupid, Love. veers from the predictable enough and is cast so excellently, that it ended up being severely charming – and I promise I’m not just saying that because of my insane crush on IT girl Emma Stone.

The story arc follows two plot lines; the first involving a distraught Emily (the always exquisite Julianne Moore) casting husband Cal (Steve Carell) out of the house after 25 years because she feels they’ve grown apart, and the second involving douche-baggy womanizer Jacob (played by apparently every woman’s favorite hot guy except me, Ryan Gosling), who meets Cal in a bar and takes pity on him, deciding basically how to teach him to be a stud and drown his sorrows in a lot of disposable pussy. Wait – I said this was charming, didn’t I?

And it is, really. The scenes where Jacob shows Cal the way of the macho man are downright hilarious, both because you can’t believe this guy’s for real (“There is no war of the sexes. We won the war the second women started pole-dancing for exercise.”), and because Carell is a master of subtle comedy — and you can bet your ass you’ll be cheering for him the first time he successfully takes a chick home.

Also, because this isn’t a movie where the characters are cardboard stereotypes – well, excepting the barely-there kids – you learn that Jacob isn’t really “that guy”. Once he meets Emma Stone as the slightly goofy yet still stunningly beautiful Hannah (after an initial rejection in which she is holding out for her “nice guy” boyfriend to pop the question), she naturally charms the shirt off of him and makes him realize that maybe he should try to be more like the poor schmuck he’s “helping”.

Throw in a weirdly awkward love triangle — Cal’s teenage son is in love with his slightly older babysitter, who has a mad crush on…Cal — a quality comedic turn by Marissa Tomei, and some surprising revelations, and you’ve got a rom-com that actually feels genuine and real. WHAT. No, I’m serious. Sure, there’s some grandiose gestures and ridiculous speeches that kind of made me flinch, but overall – this film got it right. So, so right. I laughed, I cried – which is total cliche-ville, but there was so much goodness!

You know, not that I would expect it wouldn’t be with the Moore-Carell-Stone trifecta of awesomeness, but FINALLY, you guys. Finally. Between this and Going the Distance, I have hope that we’ll see more good stuff and less things starring Katherine Heigl…