(Pop) Culture Shock

It comes in waves


Posted by emzkbd on August 9, 2011

No, it’s not another Jersey Shore acronym.

I’m talking about Crazy, Stupid, Love and why you’ll be one of three things if you don’t see it: crazy, stupid, or completely loveless.

It’s my first time back as critic, cynic, and sensationalist, so I’ll do what I do best. Go see this movie before you waste any more money on another Katherine Heigl rom-com. I should know; I see a lot of movies, mainly because I have this innate desire to escape and pretend I’m Ryan Gosling’s love thing. And whether he’s Noah or Jacob, shirt or no shirt, he always knows how to make a girl feel special. But seriously, a good romantic comedy with real chemistry and emotion is hard to find, and I didn’t need Entertainment Weekly to tell me that.

Most of my movie reviews tend to get a stamp of approval, but that doesn’t mean it changed my life. Doesn’t mean that this one will change yours, or mine for that matter. They’re usually worthy of the obligatory remark: “It was entertaining!” Because let’s face it, an hour and a half escape from our superbly meaningless lives will probably be just that. The Proposal was entertaining; The Ugly Truth was entertaining; Love Happens was torture. So it’s refreshing when something like CSL hits the big screen and makes you think.

Well, those of you who know me, know that I’m not a middle-aged soon-to-be divorcee. Try half that age and enjoying a seemingly successful shot at love in a sometimes oddly constructed relationship. So I’m not an expert, but I like to think I’m getting there. I am the byproduct of a 35 year fruitful marriage… although I don’t know if I want to equate fruit with my parents’ marriage or contemplate the logistics of creating said byproduct. Anyway, I’m here, and I know what it’s like to fall in love and have your heartbroken. CSL shows us old love finding its way back, young love springing from innocence, and new love taking chances.

Steve Carrell mimics his role from Dan in Real Life, as Cal, an average guy experiencing real pain with a touch of humor. His wife Emily played by Julianne Moore isn’t sure what she wants any more, except for a divorce. I feel that Moore never deviates too far from her genres. Someone else may have been able to step into this role and nail it, but for right now, Moore can surely pull off an angsty, uncertain wife /mother figure, which comes as a surprise since she doesn’t have an Oscar yet.

Needless to say, this couple’s dynamic points out their obvious mistake–that the married young and got boring. Did I say mistake? I meant premature life choice. And what about cheating? I don’t know about you, but I personally think school education needs to point out the repercussions of cheating beyond plagiarizing an English essay. It should be mandatory for schools to teach relationship etiquette, and I don’t mean gym, which for those who still have it serves as social hour. I deviate, but cheating says a lot about a person’s character (duh!). But here, it plays the catalyst to improvement in the relationship. Go figure! Cheaters of the twenty-first century just realized how this could work to their advantage.

In a more lighthearted atmosphere, playboy Jacob (Ryan Gosling) uses suave charms on law student Hannah (Emma Stone), who isn’t biting. Hannah, like Emily, doesn’t know what she wants, so she plays it safe with her doofy boyfriend, played by an uber-doofy Josh Groban. Like him, the film boasts an excellent array of supporting cast members, like Kevin Bacon, Marisa Tomei, and up-and-comer Liza Lapira, who are primed and ready for comic relief amid the serious relationship issues.

Maybe I still haven’t convinced you, so here’s another shot! Gosling’s abs are so not photo-shopped as Stone jokes in the trailer. All the more reason this movie should have been in 3D. That and his locker room/sauna scenes where Carrell is strategically blocking his crazy sexy schlong would have been worth the virtual cockslap in the face. He looks good in a suit, too.

So is it the best movie of the year? I would put it in my top ten, and I’d definitely like to see it get some Oscar buzz. I can already hear my best friend asking if I got a little weepy? Well as someone who is ripe in the woes of PMS, I can tell you I didn’t bawl like I do during an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Instead, I felt for these characters in ways that tears couldn’t show. Blah blah blah, don’t let that deter you because I laughed a lot more, especially when Gosling drops a few pick-up lines. And dare I say predictable? Nah, these characters have a lot of spontaeity that you wouldn’t expect from regular rom-coms, and even though I was told there was a twist, I still couldn’t help but wonder how it would all unfold. Who ends up in love? Who goes all crazy? Will Gosling take off his shirt again? These are questions I won’t spoil because that’s just plain stupid.


One Response to “CSL”

  1. Kait said

    YAY! Can’t wait to see it. Ryan Gosling is my movie star crush:-)

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