Thursday, August 18, 2011
The commas can stay
It was less than three minutes into Crazy Stupid Love (henceforth known as Crazy, Stupid, Love) that I realized my anti-comma campaign was a losing battle.
Despite not being advertised with them in the print ads, commas are clearly part of the title when it comes on screen.
In fact, not only are there commas, but there's also a problematic period -- the kind that makes it difficult to include the title in the middle of a sentence without suggesting to your reader that you're coming to a full stop. If you want to get technical, I believe the title was also lower-cased, appearing as such:
crazy, stupid, love.
It was the same trick Good Night, and Good Luck. tried to pull on us. I don't include the period when talking about George Clooney's film (except here to illustrate its awkwardness), so I won't include it when talking about Glenn Ficarra & John Requa's film. (And it's going to take a long time for me to actually remember their names whenever I have to refer to them.) I won't give a variance on the capitalization, either -- I believe sex, lies and videotape is the only title I allow to be written in lower case on my watch.
But the commas can stay.
I guess. I mean, whether I like them or not, they do appear on screen.
And I think I'm going to need to learn Glenn Ficarra's and John Requa's names, because I sure the hell liked this film a lot. I thought there was a good chance I would, since several critics I respect have given it a glowing review. However, I nearly pre-sabotaged my screening when I made the curious decision to listen to a podcast in which it was discussed, just hours before I was scheduled to go. One of the co-hosts echoed the general love for Love, but one poo-pooed the movie. Not only that, but they discussed the movie in a level of detail that removed some surprises from the plot.
And I still loved it. Did I say I liked it a lot, or "sure the hell liked this film a lot?" Let's say "love," just as the title does.
I'll do you the favor of not going into too much detail, but what you've heard is true: It's kind of like the perfect romantic comedy. It's formulaic in quite a lot of ways, but formula can really work, if done correctly. There are some surprises, too, which of course I won't reveal here (one which the podcasters did not ruin either, to their credit). But at its core, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a pretty traditional romantic comedy. It just fires on all cylinders and gets great performances from its leads.
Such as Steve Carell, who has made at least as many films I don't like as films I do.
Such as Julianne Moore, who has not always been my favorite actress, but in the last five to seven years has come to be someone I really look forward to.
Such as Ryan Gosling, who was starting to take himself way too seriously (witness his twitchy, affected performance in Blue Valentine).
Such as Emma Stone, who I have already praised no less than 37 separate times on this blog.
Such as a pair of teenage actors -- Jonah Bobo and Analeigh Tipton -- from whom you'll be hearing quite a lot more.
Such as Kevin Bacon, who is having quite the career resurgence this year.
Such as Marisa Tomei. The podcaster who had qualms about this film singled her out, yet I found her scenes to be funny, if a tad "big."
All I know is that I had a crazy stupid grin on my face when I left Crazy, Stupid, Love.
A grin that turned into a frown as soon I snuck into 30 Minutes or Less immediately afterward ... but I won't taint this post with that movie's particular wretchedness. A rant for another day ...