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Entries in Crazy Stupid Love (10)

Monday
Oct102011

I Wanna Be Linked By You... Just You...

Self Styled Siren graphs a two line fever chart on My Week With Marilyn.
Guardian Great actress Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer) on what she sees in the mirror. (It only makes us love her more.)
My Portis Wasp offers 8 reasons you should watch American Horror Story, the new series from Ryan Murphy (Glee, Nip/Tuck)
Low Resolution has issues with Lars von Trier's miserabilist smugness in Melancholia.
Fanboy Gamer [nsfw] a Rice Krispies Human Centipede.

Stale Popcorn nice piece on What's My Number? and Crazy, Stupid Love and the necessity of "charm" in the ever flailing rom-com genre.
La Daily Musto did you know these celebrities were only children?
Fandor starts a conversation about the Chicago International Film Festival. I hadn't even heard of this other Marilyn Monroe related picture Nobody Else But You.

Drive. I loved it so much I had to illustrate my review!

Finally, have you heard this dumbass story of a Michigan woman so upset about the misleading trailer for Drive that she filed a lawsuit?:

Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film ... having very little driving in the motion picture".

God, imagine what she must have thought of P.T. Anderson's There Will Be Blood ! If you ask me there's more than enough driving in Drive. There are three car chase scenes that are ALL better than about 30 years worth of other movie car chases and they're all in the same movie!  But, it's true that there's all that "European" movie around them. Critics love it. She thought it was shit. 

Monday
Sep052011

Belated Notes on "Crazy, Stupid, Love."

Christopher and a few other readers have been asking me for more detailed information about what I thought of Crazy, Stupid, Love. As daily readers know I was out of town when it opened and I ended up seeing it quite a bit after the fact which is not my preference, particularly not for a movie with so many actors I'm inordinately fond of. I saw it after the mixed reviews and after the hype had passed, which turns out to be the ideal time to see something that is relatively unassuming but so thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. 

 

Nothing about Crazy... reinvents or even reinvigorates the romantic comedy genre exactly but it's a great entry in the limited subgenre of the interlocking ensemble romances. You know the kind: teeming cast all with their individual romantic dramas and all of these short lovelorn stories end up connecting in coincidental ways, whether awkwardly forced, completely organic, or somewhere inbetween. Here we have the inbetween. But stack this up against recent movies of its ilk, and won't it look like a bonafide masterpiece?

Very little within Crazy... is entirely plausible but that's not always what we go to the movies for... and movies often thrive on exaggeration; They're shinier, funnier, prettier dramatizations of real life acted out by the shiniest funniest prettiest human specimens (i.e. movie stars). Usually in ensemble films the problem is that one storyline is much weaker than the others. Here, the high school students fill that slot but it's not so weak as to distract from the overall pleasure and Analeigh Tipton is kind of adorable. The best thing one can say for the screenplay aside from actually funny jokes (a new concept for romcoms!) is that the three tiers of romances: teenage, young adult, and middle age play out beautifully, respectively, as crazy naive (teenage hormones!), stupid sexy (yes Emma Stone & Gosling form a bond that's deeper than their physicality but that's the driving force getting them there), and in-love but weary (middle age and all the life experience / baggage that brings). You can argue that these stories are forcibly connected -- boy did I not see the central twist coming -- but I don't think you can argue that the thematic parallels aren't presented with something like nonjudgmental grace; movies that love their characters, flaws and all, are much easier to love that movies that condemn them.

Neither the direction (by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa) nor the screenplay (Dan Fogelman) ever hammer the parallels home for the sake of "SEE!" but it ends up reflecting beautifully on different timetables of love, both in regards to the actual age of lovers and the timetable of love itself, which almost has to start with the crazy / stupid before it ever gets to the lived in capital L love.

Much credit has to go to the actors for smoothing over the movie's overstuffed feeling. Everyone does fine work here -- this might be the most relaxed Julianne Moore has ever been in comic mode -- making the standard tropes and predictable trajectories within the three stories feel like exciting journeys (since the destination is never exactly in doubt). Crazy, Stupid, Love. is the kind of movie I can imagine people finding again as they're flipping channels on TV for years to come. Like "Oh yeah, this one is so cute!"... *watches the rest of it*. It's not without flaws. On first view maybe it's a little too self-consciously wacky (comic hijinx!) or dumb (shades of Hitch) but it's just going to end up beloved with repeat views. B+

Gosling's Growing Character Gallery

P.S. I actually saw Crazy Stupid, Love. shortly after seeing Ryan Gosling doing a very very different spin on the unreachable soul behind a cool mask in Drive and wow, is that a fascinating twin snapshot on star power and acting range. Both of his new performances are beauties but what's more fascinating is how perfectly composed and still both characters are when held up to those emotionally ragged messy portraits of love or drug addicts from Blue Valentine or Half Nelson, respectively. Michael Fassbender may well be Gosling's sole living rival for Future of the Movies or Best of His Generation titles. I can't wait to see them fight it out for the crown this decade. How about you?

Sunday
Aug212011

Links

Rain Perry interesting and fun article comparing Crazy, Stupid, Love. with... Biutiful. (via AD)
Tom Shone on the elitism of magic and power in modern entertainment. It's a curious question really.
THR Nobody can quite let go of Sex and the City Movie 3. It still might happen.
Corduroy (via JJ) talks to Josh Hartnett about his career (post acting hiatus). I thought I'd share this since we were just talking in that Taylor Lautner post -- I realize they're not exactly interchangeable ;)  -- about the limited shelf life of young male actors who get hired for a lot of big roles and big projects before they've truly proven themselves. Isn't that essentially what happened to Hartnett?  

Hartnett photographed by Peter Ash Lee for Corduroy

When you first start really young and you have some success, they want to take away your edges and make you into this proto-typical movie star... people don’t like to be boxed in and actors are no different.”

He also says:

I started when I was 17 and when you’re that age, you’re a bag full of nerves. I was a little bit freaked out by the whole industry. But now I’m actively looking for things that scare me; things that push me outside my comfort zone. As an actor, that’s the only way you grow and the only way you create something truly interesting for yourself and the audience as well.”

...which is code for rebuilding his once bright career through the indie film circuit, isn't it?

"Would you like one of my flowers" (Illustration by Scott C)The Great Showdowns simple concept movie illustration tumblr that yields very cute results. I love that the references are from several decades, not just the overplayed 80s ...though there's quite a lot of that as there always is online. Check it out.
ioncinema talks about the next project from I Am Love's brilliant director Luca Guadagnino which looks like it may star the ubiquitous duo of Mia Wasikowska and Jeremy Renner who plan to be in every movie of the next 5 years (along with Fassbender & Mulligan)

The Awl asks "what makes a great critic?" 
IndieWire Michael Fassbender offered the lead role in Prisoners. But his docket is so full now, who knows. 

"Avengers Assemble" at D23

God, I hope people didn't wait in line hours and hours for this. So short.  It's cute how Jeremy Renner bounces out at 1:05ish though. 

I guess they only really showed a teensy tiny clip between Samuel L Jackson's Nick Fury and Tom Hiddleston's Loki which i09 loved. I'd hoped to post a counter opinion from someone who was not at all impressed (it's important to maintain some balance in our fanboy ruled world) but have misplaced the link. Drat.

P.S. Totally eager to see how Tom Hiddleston's career develops. He was great to look at as F Scott Fitzgerald in Midnight in Paris and I suspect he did about as fine a job as anyone could have done making sense of his confusingly written character in Thor. Eager to see what's next for him?

Saturday
Aug062011

we're going to need a bigger link.

La Daily Musto Jane Fonda aging like fine wine. Damn, girl! (Now if only someone in the movies would write her a rich role again.)
Boston Globe Wesley Morris notates that sex has left the Hollywood movie, even in a movie about a sexaholic (Crazy Stupid Love). He blames Harry & Sally and that time that they met.
Vogue Italia has a four minute video reel with Ludivine Sagnier, looking luscious as usual.
Acidemic on Marlon Brando as a tortured homo in Reflections of a Golden Eye (1967)
Socialite Life Maddox Jolie-Pitt is 10 years old already. Christ, time is flying by. The family celebrated with "Wicked" the musical.
Just Jared Nicole Kidman and Matthew McConaughey on the set of Paperboy.
IndieWire surveys the up and comers in indie film for 2011 

Finally... have you seen this Peanuts/Jaws mashup?

Sunday
Jul312011

Lazy Stupid Link

Links starring the cast of... u guessed it.
My New Plaid Pants 'Today's Fanboy Delusion' featuring Ryan Gosling.
Film Dr thinks the movie is "mostly stupid" 
La Daily Musto in praise of Marisa Tomei. Nearly twenty years since that Oscar win and still going strong.

Movie|Line 9 milestones in the evolution of Julianne Moore
Grantland on Julianne Moore's adulteress film tendencies. 

At this point, her very presence in a movie alerts us to an unstable sexuality lurking just below the surface — or at least at the bottom of that extra glass of Chardonnay. She’s a marriage-wrecking, conflict-creating, ginger-haired Jezebel.

It's true. The adulteress thing is getting as default mode as the Bad Mommy thing we've discussed repeatedly.

Miscellania
Bat Blog Tom Hardy on the set of Dark Knight Rises 
Boy Culture Abel Ferrara and his DP remember Dangerous Game. Lots of Madonna stories.. and yes, she was good in that film, detractors be damned. 
Television Blend Rosie O'Donnell gets a show on Oprah's network.
The Wrap Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt plan to do less acting. Sigh and also: hasn't Angelina already been doing less acting even as she's continued to make films ;) ?

And finally just a heads up that Carrie Fisher's Wishful Drinking is now available on DVD. It's funny. My favorite part was the celebrity genealogy section that sprung from the Elizabeth Taylor vs Debbie Reynolds Eddie Fisher scandal. 

Sunday
Jul312011

Complete The (Crazy/Stupid) Sentence...

The three words I'd use to describe Crazy Stupid Love are ___________ , ____________  and _____________ .

P.S. Nathaniel is back from his 7 day hiatus and now significantly behind on his moviegoing. You've probably seen this but he hasn't!

Friday
Jul292011

Cinema de Gym: 'Opportunity Knocks'

Kurt here with a new Cinema de Gym, the first to focus on a movie I never knew existed before my cardio session. Is everyone familiar with Opportunity Knocks? It's a 1990 comedy noteworthy for being the breakout film for SNL alum Dana Carvey. With his straw-blonde hair styled into what I remember to be an almost-mullet, Carvey plays Eddie Farrell, a California con man whose slovenly style (oversized shirts, khakis with sneakers) is used to convey an enviably carefree outlook (as opposed to Steve Carrells's version of the same style in this week's Crazy, Stupid, Love., which is used to convey unenviable cluelessness). I entered the movie just as it was starting (another first), and got to see the unremarkable opening credits blip onto the screen as Carvey strutted down the street in his lazy dude's attire. There was no telling why he was carrying a potted plant. 

Turns out it was part of the character's introductory ruse, which also involves two nuns, a female pedestrian and a rich man in a flashy car who's tricked into believing he almost killed someone. I'm tiptoeing around the details because, in truth, I'm forgetting them, but what's important to note is the scene ably reveals the character's nature without heaps of exposition, and it also introduces his partner, Lou, played by Todd Graff, who's best known to me as the other-guy crew member in The Abyss. The buddies work as a team, scamming suckers in such amusing ways as pretending to be plumbers and then stealing the family TV. One house they come upon is empty, and while rooting through the rooms, they hear a voicemail from the intended housesitter, who must renege on his responsibility. Suddenly, the crooks are able to use the glorified suburban bachelor pad as their home base, its game tables and stocked fridge perfect for passing time between jobs. 

Something else happened involving a mobster and a stolen car, but that's about all the synopsis I'm prepared to dish out. Besides, what I took away from this movie wasn't plot details, but early '90s nostalgia. Ever the deliverer of exaggerated accents and impersonations (plenty of which turn up here), Carvey was a youthful 35 when this movie was released, making him 56 today. That's somehow an astonishing number for me to process, I guess because it's tough to imagine the goofy comedians of your youth as being over the hill. In any case, the thought marks the first time I've felt a pang of longing for the Wayne's World days, which closely followed in 1992. The same sensation is tied to my being charmed by the gloriously dreadful look of this movie – that grayed, washed out, VHS aesthetic that doesn't look any better just because it's been transferred to DVD. There's a whole catalog of late-'80s and early-'90s titles with that same oddly cozy drabness, which is funny, considering it's an era usually defined by neon and excess.

The future Mrs. Billy ChristensenThe strangest revelations the film offered came during the post-gym research process. A few clicks on Wikipedia unleash a crazy batch of facts regarding what the cast and crew have been up to since. We're all pretty up to speed on Carvey (who can forget The Master of Disguise?), but how about co-star Julia Campbell? She's a busy TV actress, but you know her as none other than A-Group leader Christy Masters from Romy and Michele's High School Reunion. And director Donald Petrie? Most recently, you have him to thank for Welcome to Mooseport, Just My Luck and My Life in Ruins. As for Graff, he boasts the most startling resume by far, at least to this moviegoer. A musical theatre vet, the actor-turned-director is the guy behind Camp and Bandslam, and his next project – get this – is Joyful Noise, a 2012 gospel musical with Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton. How do I not know about the latter? Here's what its Wiki page says: “Two strong-minded women are forced to cooperate when budget cuts threaten to shut down a small-town choir.”    ...I'm sorry, what were we talking about again?

Conclusions?

1. Yesterday's casual is today's embarrassment, as evidenced by Carvey and Carrell.
2. Sadly, comedians age just like everybody else.
3. Ugly is endearing if you happen to be a movie from the late-'80s or early-'90s.
4. Todd Graff is our new Steve Antin – an out former actor about to unveil the unofficial sequel to Burlesque.

Oh, what to ask you? This post is one mixed bag. What jumped out at you? I can only guess...