Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Mom Under Cover says you’d be stupid crazy to miss this.

Crazy, Stupid, Love.  (B+)

This romantic comedy is clever and fun–more complicated than the previews would suggest. The screenplay (Dan Fogelman) is well written.  Admittedly, I like Steve Carell and Julianne Moore who play leads Cal and Emily.  Carell delivers that cringeworthy humor we love from The Office and more.  One of the strengths of the movie is the cast.  Marisa Tomei (Kate) demonstrates that maybe that Oscar wan’t a fluke after all.   Ryan Gosling (Jacob), Kevin Bacon (David Lindhagen), Emma Stone (Hanna), Analeigh Tipton (Jessica), and young Jonah Bobo (Robbie) all contribute solid performances.

The movie opens with zinger;  Cal asks Emily what she wants for dessert, “A divorce” is the reply.  She admits to a fling with a co-worker (Bacon as Lindhagen) and boredom in the marriage. Jilted Cal retreats to a popular bar where he watches the young, hip, ladykiller Jacob (Gosling) operate night after night.  Jacob takes pity on Cal–gives him a new look, new clothes and teaches him how to pick up women.  Cal finally succeeds with Tomei about the time Jacob meets a woman he actually cares about–the adorable Hannah.  Multiple generations all seeking love (even 13 year old Robbie has a crush on the babysitter Jessica) weave an unexpected tapestry. Tenderness and hilarity in equal parts make for a very enjoyable movie.

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Blue Valentine

New review from The Movie Snob

Blue Valentine (B).  This 2010 release is a pretty dark drama about a failing marriage.  Michelle Williams (Shutter Island) was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as the wife, Cindy, so when it hit our dollar theater I felt obliged to check it out.  It’s a well-made movie.  Ryan Gosling (Fracture) plays the husband, Dean.  Dean’s an ordinary joe; he works as a house painter and likes to drink too much, but he’s a loving father to the couple’s adorable little girl.  Cindy works as a nurse, and it soon becomes obvious that her heart is not in this marriage anymore.  As the movie goes on, it cuts to various flashbacks to when Dean and Cindy met and fell in love.  I suppose they are supposed to make the “present day” scenes of their rocky marriage more poignant, but it really seemed to me that they were mismatched from the start.  Anyway, it’s a decent drama, but I should caution that it has a lot of unnecessary nudity and sex in it.

Fracture

New from The Movie Snob

Fracture (C+). Despite a warning from my sister that this legal thriller was pretty mediocre, I spent a chunk of my Sunday afternoon on it. It stars Anthony Hopkins (Noah) and this hotshot newcomer Ryan Gosling (The Big Short), and the Dallas Morning News reviewer gave it a B. Plus, it co-stars Rosamund Pike, who played the icily gorgeous femme fatale Miranda Frost in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. So it seemed to have potential. Anyhoo, Sir Anthony plays a brilliant aircraft engineer who discovers that his much-younger wife (Embeth Davidtz, Schindler’s List) is having an affair. He shoots her in the face, but she survives, and he insists on representing himself in the subsequent trial for attempted murder. Gosling is the D.A. who draws a case, a cocky lawyer who’s about to quit prosecuting in favor of a job with a big corporate law firm. But the alleged perpetrator has a few surprises for him in the courtroom. I was never bored, but I didn’t leave satisfied either. Go see the German flick The Lives of Others before it disappears from the Inwood Theater instead.

P.S. This is post number 601 on The Movie Court!