I was a bad hostess this weekend: I had house guests once again, but this time I did not bake for them. I'm trying to avoid adding any more desserts to the house until I've finished last week's Texas cake, and some of the stockpile of homemade ice cream and ice pops in my freezer. I did, however, spend some time with my cousins Danielle and Chris while they were in town for today's Cubs game against the St. Louis Cardinals, and tonight we went to see a grown-up movie, a treat for them at the height of their child-rearing years. We settled upon Crazy, Stupid Love, mostly because I mentioned I was planning on seeing it, but it also boasted enough Steve Carell humor to appeal to Chris and enough of Ryan Gosling's abs to bring Danielle and I through the theater doors.
As far as romantic comedies go, Crazy, Stupid Love was a cut above. Steve Carell masterfully blends buffoonery and gravitas to lend emotional credibility to a comedic role. I can't' think of a movie in which I've seen Julianne Moore where she wasn't fantastic, and while I don't quite see why so many men seem to think Emma Stone is the hottest ever, the quirky comedic sensibility she revealed in the fantastic Easy A translated to her role here as well. Ryan Gosling, known to most women for his swoon-worthy turn in the chick-flick classic, The Notebook, broke with his usual good-guy image to play a cynical douche, but his liberally-utilized physique made up for his character's lack of likability. As Stone's character pointed out, it really was like he was Photoshopped.
A top-notch cast only gets a movie so far though, and the writing for Crazy, Stupid Love failed to disappoint as well. Though the romantic comedy genre is often tired and cliched, this film managed to come up with a creative central plot twist and some clever grand romantic gestures. I also appreciated that the movie managed to create some riotously funny moments without relying on gross-out humor, which seems to be the Hollywood norm these days. Remember Bridesmaids?
Even if I was a third wheel on this particular evening, I think Crazy, Stupid Love would make a great date movie, and I'm already looking forward to re-watching it again and again when it makes its television premiere. Check it out if you're looking for a crowd-pleasing romantic comedy this summer.