'Crazy, Stupid, Love' Reviews: What Critics Say

7:59 AM PST 07/29/2011 by Lindsay Powers
Ben Glass/Warner Bros

One calls it “a shrewdly written comedy” while another notes its “contrived setups, preposterous coincidences and calculated sentimentalism.”

Crazy, Stupid, Love opens in theaters Friday. Here's what critics are saying about the Steve Carell-Emma Stone-Julianne Moore-Ryan Gosling starrer.

Kirk Honeycutt calls it "a shrewdly written comedy with perhaps too many characters and subplots but they nonetheless produce laughs" in his Hollywood Reporter review.

"The screenplay for the Steve Carell comedy, Crazy, Stupid, Love, isn’t so much written as manufactured according to precepts found in manuals and teachings by the current breed of Hollywood screenwriting gurus," he goes on. "It starts with a high concept, manages its coincidences, misunderstandings and character arcs to maximize comic potential and, in twists that would undoubtedly tickle those script coaches, pulls off not one but two genuine surprises. Its cleverness, however, masks a lack of real heart."

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"The movie suffers perhaps from too many characters and subplots but all the actors appear to have fun with their characters. Carell, who has the market cornered for playing schnooks — his best movie performance remains Dan in Real Life, however — finds something new here by suggesting that there can be worse things than being a schnook. Gosling keeps it real yet amusingly satirizes his screen lothario character," he continues.

The Boston Herald's James Verniere writes, "If like me you’ve seen the trailers for Crazy, Stupid, Love, which I like to call Eat, Pray, Crazy, Stupid, Love, you’ve seen the movie. In fact, you’ve seen a better and shorter movie."

"Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (“Bad Santa,” “I Love You Phillip Morris”) and scripted by Dan Fogelman (“Tangled”), the film apparently takes its cue from Richard Curtis’ 2003 ensemble hit “Love Actually” and like its predecessor has a great cast. But it’s as phony as the day is long," he goes on.

"The characters are the kind of people you’d only meet inside the head of a corporate studio executive. Best to stay out of there," he adds.

"Steve Carell seems to be making a bid to be the next Tom Hanks, which makes sense for any actor navigating his way out of the TV and comedy ghettoes, but which is also fraught with danger," notes Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post.

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"It would be dishonest to say there's no humor or outright pleasure to be had in Crazy, Stupid, Love, especially at the hands of Gosling, whose seductive command presence suggests we may have found our next George Clooney. And there are universal human foibles and truths at its heart, especially having to do with the midlife ennui that can torpedo the strongest marriage, as well as the abiding theme of men grappling with a slipping sense of self," she writes. "But where that subject was tackled by characters who were somewhat recognizable in, say, Win Win, the world of Crazy, Stupid, Love is as ersatz as the satirical movie-within-a-movie in Friends With Benefits (another more believable film), where palm trees popped out from behind fake Manhattan backdrops.

"With its contrived setups, preposterous coincidences and calculated sentimentalism, Crazy, Stupid, Love seems beamed from the same alternate reality as Larry Crowne (directed by and starring none other than Tom Hanks). We might enjoy the ride while we're on it, but it will seem like a visit to another planet once we're home," she adds.

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