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'Crazy, Stupid, Love' is absolutely worth it

(Courtesy of Warner Bros.)
(Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

"Crazy, Stupid, Love" 4/5 Pitchforks Rated: PG-13 Released: July 29 Staring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone

Love knows no bounds, and as history has taught us, be it the Trojan War or Justin Bieber lyrics – the journey continues.

As love is (or can be) a rather difficult proposition to acquire, finding a movie that so affectionately captures the subtleties of the emotion in a way that is both playful and engaging can often prove to be far more of a frustrating experience.

Even with the deep pockets of Hollywood, the “romantic comedy” genre has always been hit-or-miss. Most men, of course (and rightly so in many cases), will claim that they always “miss.”

With Friday’s release of “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” however, men (and especially women) can sit-back and relax comfortably as the story of love, and the lengths we must travel to achieve it, is so brilliantly captured on-screen for everyone’s enjoyment.

Where the most recent string of half-hearted attempts focused primarily on the “physical” side of a relationship (“Love and Other Drugs,” “Friends With Benefits”), “Crazy, Stupid, Love” reminds us that real relationships require real emotion and work more so than just carnal lust between a paring of “hot, young” celebrities pitching game on one another.

Arguably one of the best written screenplays of the year, the film focuses on Cal, played by Steve Carell, who is dumped by his wife (Julianne Moore) over dinner. Broken-hearted and in shock, Cal does what any empty-feeling male would do – he turns to the neighborhood bar.

From there, we – along with Cal – meet Jacob (Ryan Gosling), and in an age reversal of mentorship, the audience is subject to the transformation of Cal, à la Jacob.

As we watch the shy and bashful Cal stumble through his newly discovered knack of game-running, resident bachelor Jacob potentially meets his mate in Hannah, played by Emma Stone.

With a supporting-cast actively engaging in the hilarity and hi-jinxs all around Cal and Jacob, the story climaxes masterfully (with a dash of expected corneyness) as the aged old question is asked – is it all worth it or not?

As for love, however, that is up to you. This is a smart, fun and worthy film for the summer weekend and eventual DVD or Blu-ray collection, hopefully an award or two as well.

Gosling continues to shine as a member of the young and talented wave of upcoming Hollywood actors, and does the best he can at dethroning Thor as man-of-the-year.

We must not forget the children in all of this either. As with any divorce, the children have the most to lose, and as the children in “Crazy, Stupid, Love” teach us – there is still much more we as adults have to learn on the subject of love – including how to give and receive its true reward.

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