Crazy, Stupid, Love – Review

The romantic comedy is a genre synonymous with tiresome, generic plots.  Every other rom-com is the same.  Idealistic interpretations of love are depicted by boring, talentless hacks such as Matthew McConaughey too often, but thankfully there are a small number of films that manage to stick out from the crowd.  Such as Love and Other Drugs, which hit cinemas earlier this year, along with 2009’s great anti-romance comedy, 500 Days of Summer.  Each had their own unique flair, and these few films provided some small credibility to the stale genre.

The latest film to accomplish this is Crazy, Stupid, Love.  Boasting a tremendous cast, such as the amiable Steve Carell, the talented Julianne Moore and suave, stylish Ryan Gosling, the film never falls short of talent.  Along them we have hit girl, Emma Stone, talented Marisa Tomei and the ever-fantastic Kevin Bacon.  Thankfully enough, the film manages all these different characters without even disrupting the pace of the film.

Carell plays straight-laced Cal Weaver, who attempts to start life again after his wife demands a divorce, due to her fatigue over their relationship.  However, there’s a few problems which prevent Cal from continuing with his new journey.  He’s down on his luck, hopeless and still wearing clothes which are two sizes too big.  So, it’s up to Gosling’s womanising Jacob Palmer to reinvent this man.  Jacob manages several acquaintances in any given night at the local bar, so it seems necessary for him to lend his extraordinary talents towards Cal in many illustrious and hilarious ways.

Carell has been handed a few dismal roles in the past couple of years, so it’s nice to see him returning to form.  Unfortunately he’s been handed some mediocre films as of late, so hopefully this is his return.  Carell plays the aspect of a downtrodden man brilliantly, as Cal Weaver comes to terms with the realisation of his boring life.  When some fresh juice is pumped into his character, Carrel still manages to perfect a much more confident Cal.

His wife, Emily Weaver is played by Julianne Moore, who is stepping into familiar territory here.  Similar to her role in The Kids are Alright, Moore acts as the lovelorn wife who finds solace elsewhere.  However, there’s no problem with her reprising that same role.  Moore is a fantastic actress, who plays off Carell brilliantly.

The performance that stands out from the ensemble cast is easily Ryan Gosling’s Jacob Palmer.  Dressed fashionably, oozing with style, sophistication and charisma, Gosling makes for a perfect metrosexual man.  Without Gosling, the film just wouldn’t have done so well.  He brings his own unique take to the character effortlessly, as he has done in the past with several other roles.  If there’s one character that will be discussed afterwards, it will surely be his.

Their paths take different turns throughout the story, leading to a welcome twist, which further complicates the relationships.  The ending doesn’t take any risks, as it follows the standard happy-ending structure of most romantic comedies.  However, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.  There is a distinct chemistry between the actors throughout, so it makes sense.  Not much can be said about the hilarious twist that occurs, but it would be advised to steer clear of any of the cast details.

The laughs come thick and fast, as Gosling and Carell carry most of the humour, along with Cal Weaver’s son Robbie, whose infatuation with an older girl makes for some side-splitting scenes.  Thankfully this is also layered with subtle emotional themes, which at least gives the film some depth.  The characters in this film are essentially human, which works to the film’s advantage.

This is due to the script’s strengths in delivering a romance story with witty, funny dialogue.  It balances different elements nicely, ultimately delivering a smart rom-com.  It’s nice to see Carell back in action, and the casting of Ryan Gosling is utterly perfect.  The film balances a great cast with ease, infusing great writing and hilarity throughout.  Crazy, Stupid, Love is thankfully a breath of fresh air, with fantastic leads which surely will be remembered in time.

If the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists…

Back in 1993 Steven Spielberg stunned audiences worldwide with his epic dinosaur tale, Jurassic Park. Boasting great special effects, a thrilling story and exciting action sequences, the film soon turned into a worthy franchise. After the Murphy kids escaped the perils of the island in the first film; it was up to Dr Ian Malcolm to protect San Diego from an enraged Tyrannosaurus Rex in the sequel. In the third and least impressive instalment, Dr Alan Grant fought his way through a second island riddled with new dangerous species.

It’s been a while since we’ve had any dinosaurs up on the big screen, but Spielberg is interested in producing a fourth film to the series. Do we need yet another film? Maybe not, but it’s inevitable. Dinosaurs are cool.

Two of the great collaborators have unfortunately passed away since their involvement in the series, the talented Stan Winston and the fantastic Michael Crichton. Obviously, we’ll see Stan’s studio involved in the production of the film – but still, it’s damn a shame to see those two go, as they brought so much to the franchise.

There’s a problem that Spielberg has encountered though. Where can he go after these films? What else can you do with a bunch of dinosaurs? Well, the possibilities may be endless, however Spielberg has enlisted the help of writer Mark Protosevich, known for his work on I Am Legend and Thor. So what can we do with dinosaurs now? Well, here are a few ideas…

Bringing back Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum needs to be done. No questions about it.  Also, bring Julianne Moore into the picture.  She was a much better actress than Laura Dern, anyway.

There has been some speculation across the internet about whether or not gun-toting dinosaurs should be done. It’s a bold move really, and it would be terrifying to witness a Velociraptor armed with some deadly Uzis. Hell, you could get some Compsagnathus’ fully equipped with tiny pistols. It’d be insane. Samuel L Jackson could return as himself, instead of the scientist he once was, facing off against some Spinosaurus’ who are armed with rocket launchers. Imagine it. It’d be incredible. However, it just wouldn’t work. Let’s be serious here. Most predators have tiny arms.

Having Ian Malcolm mess around with DNA samples could work, if he accidentally transfuses his own with dinosaur blood. He might be a mathmatician and a chaos theorist, but that shouldn’t stop him from experimenting.  It’d be like The Fly, except this time round he slowly turns into a Pterosaur. Before proclaiming his love to Julianne Moore, he swoops off into the distance to face his new life amongst the flying reptiles. It would break hearts, a man’s love for a woman destroyed by his own experimentation with DNA.

It would be great to have Robert Muldoon survive his initial raptor attack from the first film. We would discover him years later, living peacefully amongst the carnivores. He could teach them the basic of humanity, as he commends their effort throughout his lecturing. Clever girls.

In all seriousness though, there’s plenty of storylines which can be evolved from the previous ventures. Lets revisit InGens’ corporate rival BioSyn for instance. Say they finally get their hands on those precious samples, therefore allowing themselves to genetically modify their own species. A couple of wildlife photographers discover this secret organisation, operating on Site A. It is almost as if Jurassic Park has been renovated, yet there are only slight memories of the theme park. These photographers are on the Costa Rican islands illegally, providing the internet with this sordid evidence. The evidence then comes into the hands of a certain Tim Murphy, who tries to get in contact with the photographers. He has been following BioSyn’s suspicious activity since his teenage years and finally has the proof to convict these unethical scientists. Before he can respond to these photographers though, BioSyn handle the unwelcome guests in their own vicious way…

From there on in, the story essentially writes itself. Tim’s involvement with BioSyn results in a catastrophic event, unleashing the dinosaurs across Costa Rica. It doesn’t even have to be Costa Rica. BioSyn’s headquarters are located in California, so experiments could be conducted there instead. Think San Diego’s invasion by the Tyrannosaurus Rex in The Lost World, then multiply it by ten. Allosaurus’ would wreck the streets. Compys would be terrifying families, flocking around shopping malls. Raptors could even terrorise bars and nightclubs. Oh, and finally – the Tyrannosaurus Rex would kill the Spinosaur. The possibilities, as I’ve mentioned before, are endless.

Obviously, all scientific knowledge will be ignored.  For example, Dilophosaurus would still be able to spit acid.  By the way, they have never been known to do so.  Velociraptors wouldn’t actually be their proper size, which is much, much smaller than they appear in the films.  They’re about the size of a chicken.  Also, scientists claim that Tyrannosaurus Rex’s are terrifyingly good with their eyesight and hearing.  So the Murphy kids technically should have died in the first film.

Anyway, it’s understandable for Spielberg to experiment with a fourth sequel. Dinosaurs equal money, especially when his name is attached. Thankfully he is tearing through scripts until he finds an appropriate tale to follow the first trilogy. At least he’s now got a fairly credible writer attached.  I for one, will be looking forward to what he can produce next.