4 Reasons Crazy, Stupid, Love Is the Perfect Combination of Romantic, Hilarious, and Cute
When a rom-com hits just right, you know. It's like every character and every scene has been handcrafted to make you personally spit out your Rosé from laughing too hard or text your BFF that heartwarming quote that you just can't get out of your head. For me, Crazy, Stupid, Love is that movie.
No, it's not just because of the scene where Jacob (Ryan Gosling) takes his shirt off and Hannah (Emma Stone) tells him he looks Photoshopped (but it doesn't hurt). Crazy, Stupid, Love is right up there with When Harry Met Sally and 10 Things I Hate About You in its storytelling, humor, and the number of profoundly romantic lines that make your heart ache. Unlike many other rom-coms, this film is ironic in its humor and manages to be witty without being cheesy. Also, that twist ending on the backyard mini golf course gets me every time.
More than anything, the movie has a story to tell and a message to send that's worth hearing, no matter what stage of life you're in. Whether it's 13-year-old Robbie's preteen crush on his babysitter Jessica, the newfound romance between protagonists Jacob and Hannah, or the complexities of Hannah's parents Emily (Julianne Moore) and Cal's (Steve Carell) divorce, there's something in this movie for almost everyone. Keep reading to see exactly why the brilliant 2011 film is still worth watching after all these years.
It's Funny and Romantic Without Being Too Cheesy
I am not a huge rom-com person. The cheesy plot lines and underlying message that you'll never find happiness without true love have never sat well with me. Plus, who falls in love after one date? I'm not buying it. But Crazy, Stupid, Love makes fun of itself and its movie predecessors by taking those clichés and rewriting them to feel more thoughtful and original.
When Jacob begins to flirt with Hannah, she turns him down, but eventually comes back to him on her own terms. Once they're alone together in his house, she calls out that their date will not have a stereotypical "PG-13" ending where she falls asleep and he kisses her on the cheek. The movie delivers on this promise by putting a sweet twist on the classic rom-com ending and reversing the couple's roles so that Jacob falls asleep and Hannah gives him a goodnight kiss on the cheek. In between, they laugh, tell stories, and get to know each other on a deeper level before they actually commit to a long-term relationship.
From Family to Love and Life, Almost Every Scene Has at Least 1 Insightful Quote Worth Remembering
If ever there was a non-Disney movie that I could quote by heart, it would be Crazy, Stupid, Love. This movie is packed with gems that still pop into my head on a regular basis and make me smile or remember that I should really give it another watch.
Of course, there's the line that establishes Jacob as sarcastic and witty: "I'm going to help you rediscover your manhood. Do you have any idea where you could have lost it?" And I can't forget Hannah telling Jacob, "I'm here to bang the hot guy who hit on me at the bar," which hilariously prompts a conversation about whether the word "bang" is even still a thing.
While the funny lines stick with me the most, the film also delivers some heartfelt words throughout that convey hope and make each character's journey feel worthwhile. "I'm so mad at you," Cal tells Emily after seeing each other for the first time in months. "I'm really mad at you for what you did. But I'm mad at myself too. Because I should not have jumped out of that car — I should have fought for you. Because you fight for your soul mates." If that isn't a heart-clenching moment, then I don't know what is.
That Twist Ending Converted Me From a Rom-Com Hater to a Rom-Com Lover
Growing up, I went through lots of different phases, including one where I despised the color pink and would have nothing to do with anything considered stereotypically girly, including rom-coms. That changed immediately after I witnessed the magic of Crazy, Stupid, Love for the first time.
When Emily first steps into the back garden to unknowingly take part in Cal's surprise mini golf game, I had my fingers crossed that the romantic gesture would get them back together. What I got as a viewer was that and then some. In a collision of plot lines, the film brings together Cal, Jacob, babysitter Jessica's dad Bernie, and even Emily's beau David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon) to duke it out after the tangled web of miscommunication between them unravels.
Cal doesn't know about Jessica's crush on him, but Bernie attacks him anyway. Cal also doesn't know that his playboy relationship advisor Jacob is also his daughter's new boyfriend. And David Lindhagen — who broke up Cal and Emily's relationship in the first place — chooses the perfect time to try and wiggle his way further into her life.
Altogether, this movie builds off of the classic rom-com archetype and adds to it with incredible casting, insightful quotes about love and life, and a climactic ending that ties everyone's stories together.
It's Romantic and Relatable No Matter Your Age
No matter how many crushes you've had or how many relationships you've been in, this movie manages to convey the slightly uncomfortable mix of desire and confusion that arises when you come across that special someone. While Robbie is only 13, his determination to be with his babysitter Jessica conveys the early stages of that feeling of love, and his unexpected wisdom throughout the film even helps Cal on his journey to win back his wife.
Hannah has experienced heartbreak in the past, and Jacob has done his best to avoid settling down in a committed relationship. When they both realize that they're looking for something more, they learn to open up about what they want, and find that missing piece in each other.
Meanwhile, Cal and Emily have been dating since their first ice cream date when they were 16 years old, and despite the fact that their marriage is rocky, they know they still love each other deeply. It takes months of reflection and newfound communication skills for them to realize that their love for each other is stronger than ever.
Even if you've never been in any of their situations, these characters are presented in such a way that viewers can relate. When their stories finally come together, the film manages to convey that love in all forms can be crazy and stupid, but what truly matters is experiencing it for yourself.