Crazy, Stupid, Love is a mixed bag; on the one hand, it’s emotionally honest about break-ups and infidelity and a surprisingly accurate portrayal of picking up women. On the other hand, it hits several of my personal pet-peeves when it comes to romantic comedies – the inevitable nod towards sex-negative culture by insisting that men who have lots of sex are really just empty inside, the advocacy of the idea that persistance will inevitably win the heart of the one you love and of course, the grand gesture.
Still, it’s surprisingly good-hearted; Ryan Gosling’s Jacob is an inveterate womanizer, but he’s genuinely a good person. Similarly, Steve Carrell’s Cal is a bit of a sad-sack, but in a realistic, relatable way and Julianne Moore’s Emily isn’t the two-dimensional shrew that other movies would have reduced her to. And of course, it has Emma Stone who I have a not-so-small crush on.
Plus Ryan Gosling is absurdly hot.
And whether you want to look at it as a reflection of relationships, break ups or even the art of picking up women, there’s a lot to learn from this.