Director: Glenn Ficarra & John Requa
Main Cast: Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Juilanne Moore
The Camera & Ryan Gosling
I had heard of Ryan Gosling, of course (both of us being good southern Ontario boys), though until Drive (2011) I hadn’t actually seen him in anything. But since that film I have now seen him in two other films, both from last year: The Ides of March and Crazy, Stupid, Love. I don’t think he’s all that good in The Ides of March, but his performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love is similar to his, for me, quite fabulous turn in Drive. In both films he is very still and lets his demeanour and sense of cool fill the screen. I think the best example of this is his character Jacob’s date with (the totally fabulous) Emma Stone’s Hanna. Ms. Stone is the performer in the seen how gets to be full of expression and emotions (nervousness, desire, ridiculousness, attractiveness, humour, criticism) and she has, and the audience, has great fun bouncing this expressions of the statuesque farm and form of Mr. Gosling. I have no reservations in stating that the man is objectively beautiful and the camera loves him. As their date progresses to the bedroom, the camera lingers on his body, his lines, his physicality. In a film full of a truly fantastical continuum of beautiful women, it is the male form that the directors choose to exploit for aesthetic, performance, and narrative pleasure.
I found Crazy, Stupid, Love to be funny, well-cast, slightly-inane, and with a refreshing lack of cynicism. Other thing worth noting about the film is Analeigh Tipton (who will feature in one of my most anticipated films of 2012, Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress) as Jessica the babysitter; she’s really great while the two kid actors are not so great.