December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

September 29, 2012

Crazy Stupid Love (2011)

When it's over, I loved it.  I loved everything about this film.  It was sweet, funny, and honest.  The tightly crafted screenplay by animation writer, Dan Fogelman (Cars, Bolt, Tangled) laid the groundwork to this feel good film, touching on many issues involving first loves, marriage, and growing up.  Cal Weaver (Steve Carell)  is a middle-aged man, who discovers his wife (Julianne Moore) wants a divorce. Lost, confused, and drowning in self-pity, Cal enlists the help of Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a player he meets at a bar, to teach him the fine art of picking up women in order to regain his manhood.  Carell, Gosling, Moore - a talented trio of actors who brought life, laughter, and tears into their characters.  Even in Cal's shallowness, I still found myself caring for his shortcomings, wanting him to succeed, hoping for him to evolve.  Carell truly embodied Cal's growth and demise.  Jacob's got every pick up line mastered, and even when he comes off sleazy, there's still a likableness in him that resonates in every scene.  He goes from knowing everything about women, to having to rediscover them.  Gosling was extremely charismatic in that sense.  Moore's character, Emily Weaver, took more of a backseat to the two men, but this didn't make her role less meaningful.  I saw Emily as the weakness and the strength.  She asked for the divorce, setting the events of the story in motion; and as the story developed, I began to see the various layers unfolding, such as the loving mother who holds a brave face and the woman who wants to move on, but can't.  Moore delivered all these emotions effortlessly.  Aside from the main cast, I thought the supporting cast, comprised of Emma Stone, Analeigh Tipton, Marisa Tomei, and Kevin Bacon, were all brilliant, lending their talents to complete the story as a whole.  I can't exit this entry without mentioning Jonah Bobo, who played Robbie Weaver.  What an incredible piece of acting from such a young actor, showing the fragility and torment of first loves, and the joys and pains of growing up.  

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

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