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Film / Crazy, Stupid, Love

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"When we're done... this wife of yours... she's gonna rue the day she ever decided to give up on you."

Crazy, Stupid, Love is an American Romantic Comedy. It was released in 2011.

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dream - he's got a good job, nice house, and great kids. Cal gets the surprise of his life when he learns his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) has been cheating on him with a coworker, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon), and wants a divorce. After moving into his own apartment, Cal begins grieving at a bar night after night talking to himself about his situation where he meets a young man named Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Jacob is a womanizer who successfully beds women each night, although he does take a particular interest in a young woman named Hannah (Emma Stone), the only woman to resist his advances.

Not wanting to watch Cal keep draining his sorrows night after night, Jacob agrees to teach him his trade so that he can have the confidence to earn Emily back. Because Emily is the only woman Cal has even been with, Cal doesn't have much experience, so Jacob gives Cal a makeover and resolves to teach him how to have game. Meanwhile, Cal and Emily's son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) has a crush on his neighbor and babysitter, Jessica (Lio Tipton), and makes numerous gestures to try and win her heart...while remaining oblivious to the fact that she is in love with Cal.

The supporting cast also includes Marisa Tomei as Kate, Joey King as Molly, and John Carroll Lynch as Bernie.

This film provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Robbie to Jessica, mainly because he's 13 and he hounds her all over town explaining why she should go out with him after she catches him masturbating to her image. Subverted at the end when she takes pity on him and gives him her nudes.
  • And Starring: "With Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon".
  • Anti-Villain: David. The movie shows him to be a nice guy with seemingly genuine feelings for Emily, but doesn't excuse his role in breaking up Cal and Emily's marriage.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Hannah is expecting Richard to pop the question to her at her post-Bar party, and he seems like he's going to do so...only to instead offer her a position at his law firm, prompting her to dump him.
  • Between My Legs: The "Mrs. Robinson" variety, as seen in the page image (in the film itself, Cal is shown fully framed between Kate's legs).
  • Blunt "Yes": When David walks in in the middle of the fight in the back yard:
    David: Is this a bad time?
    Emily: Yeah.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Jessica asks a schoolmate for advice on snagging older guys. Madison's first answer is that she has a huge rack, and Jessica doesn't.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Robbie masturbates while thinking of Jessica, his babysitter that he loves...and then Jessica walks in.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Nana. That is all. It's the Weaver's nickname for their eldest daughter, Hannah.
  • Cool Big Sis: It's implied that Hannah is one to Robbie and Molly.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Played with. Cal doesn't hate Jacob but absolutely hates the idea of him dating his daughter because he knows about his womanizing past.
  • Dinner and a Breakup: The film opens with suburban married couple Cal and Emily going out for dinner. Emily bluntly tells him she wants a divorce. The two then have to awkwardly drive back to their house.
  • Disposable Fiancé: Richard, Hannah's bore of a boyfriend/coworker, gets two scenes and is dumped for Jacob without much fanfare at around the halfway point.
  • Divorce Is Temporary: Played with. Emily immediately asks for a divorce without trying to work anything out. They go back and forth with halfhearted efforts to work on things. In the end, Cal swears that he'll do everything he can to keep her. They seem like they are going to work it out, but even Cal says he has no idea if they will.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Robbie keeps pestering Jessica with declarations of his love, even if she is the furthest thing from interested.
  • Don't Explain the Joke: After admitting that she has a crush on an older man (Cal) to one of her friends, Jessica is ensured by said friend that her "lips are ARF ARF", accompanied by the friend clapping her hands. Not following, Jessica asks for an explanation as to what she means. Basically, "Our lips are seals." As in, "our lips are sealed".
  • Dress Hits Floor: There's a shot of Jessica's robe hitting the floor as she prepares to take some nude photos.
  • Emasculated Cuckold: Suburban dad Cal learns in the beginning that his wife cheated on him and wants a divorce. He's a sad sack about it (even ranting about how he's a modern cuckold at the bar) until the fashionable, suave casanova Jacob helps him become more confident and self-assured.
  • Foreshadowing: The dress Emily wears on her date with David Lindhagen is remarkably similar to the one Hannah wears in the opening sequence (when she meets Jacob for the first time), which only serves to strengthen the resemblance between the two.
  • Gilligan Cut: Hannah claims that she wouldn't be swayed by Jacob's claims that he can do the ending lift from Dirty Dancing. Cut to her preparing to do the running jump.
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • Emily wanted Cal to be more adventurous. She certainly got that, since after she asks for a divorce he cleans himself up and starts sleeping around.
    • Cal wanted Emily to regret that she left him. When she discovers that he has had sex with multiple women, she does regret it, but is not willing to return.
    • Jessica wanted her Cal to notice her with her nudes. Turns out, he did after said pictures are discovered by her parents and her father confronts Cal.
  • Gray Rain of Depression: Lampshaded by Cal after he blows it with Emily at the parent/teacher conference and it begins to rain...
    Cal: "Oh, that is such a cliché."
  • Hair Color Spoiler: It's a bit obvious that Hannah and Emily both have red hair. It's no wonder they end up being mother and daughter in a film with such a tangled web of associations.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Emily and Hannah, the respective love interests of male leads Cal and Jacob, both have red hair.
  • Hourglass Plot: Feckless divorced dad Cal spends the first half of the film wanting to emulate the young, handsome casanova Jacob. After Jacob falls in love with Hannah, he turns to Cal for advice on how to become a likable boyfriend to his new girlfriend's parents.
    Jacob: I looked at people who were in love... and I thought the way that they were behaving... and the things that they were doing and saying... they appeared pathetic, honestly. And I spent all this time with you, I'm trying to make you more like me... and it turns out I just wanna be... I need that drink.
  • In-Series Nickname: Molly is called cutie by her sister Hannah, who in turn is called Nana.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Jacob might have started out as a callous womanizer, but he genuinely comes to care about Cal and revere him as a friend. Even after Cal forbids Jacob to see his daughter. He sticks up for Cal when Bernie attacks him. He also punches David Lindhagen on sight for the effect Emily's affair with him had on Cal. When Hannah stops talking to Cal, it's Jacob who hands her a phone and says, "You should call your father."
  • Ladykiller in Love: Jacob was the type of guy who went home with a different girl every night, but falls hard for Hannah. They spend the back half of the film as a stable couple, with Jacob even commenting that he now wants to be more like Cal (ie. a likable Family Man).
  • Likes Older Men: 17 year old Jessica it turns out is in love with Cal, who's old enough he could be her father (she babysits his kids) and indeed he's friends with her dad. This comes to the point that she takes nude photos of herself to give him (which ends up getting Cal in trouble). Jessica took the photos on the advice of another teenage girl who dates guys older than her (though not that old) which turned out to be a very bad idea.
  • Lonely Bachelor Pad: The apartment Cal moves into after separating from his wife: bare walls, cheap furniture...
  • Love Dodecahedron: Robbie has a thing for his babysitter Jessica who has a crush on Robbie's father Cal who is going through a really rocky relationship with Emily, who had a one-night stand with David but is also the mother of Hannah, who's the girlfriend of Jacob, who teaches Cal how to "regain his manlihood," which allows him to pick up multiple women, one of whom turns out to be his son Robbie's teacher, etc.
  • Meaningful Background Event: When Robbie is at his mother's office, there are two picture frames on Emily's desk. One is a photo of Emily and Cal, while the other is a picture of a baby girl who appears to be Molly... except it seems to look very old to be taken even in The '90s and she obviously wasn't even born in that decade yet. It's clearly a picture of Hannah.
  • Mid-Life Crisis Car: Discussed Trope when Emily comments that she might be having a midlife crisis.
    Emily: Can women have midlife crises? In the movies it's always men having them and buying ridiculous yellow Porsches... but, you know, I'm not a man.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Jessica's dad is shown the photos of herself nude she took for him, and assumes the worst. He storms off to beat up Cal, ignoring Jessica's desperate attempt to explain (Cal didn't ask for her to do this, and wasn't even aware of it). It's only explained when he's tried to attack Cal.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Not one, but two scenes with Jacob naked and talking to Cal lead to hilarious gags.
  • No Antagonist: Nobody in the story is acting from malice or trying to hurt anyone else, they're all just making, as the title suggests, crazy and/or stupid decisions due to love. Even David Lindhagen, the man Emily slept with, is shown to not be a bad person per se and is genuinely falling for her.
  • No, You: After Hannah brushes off Jacob's advances:
    Hannah: That's a double negative.
    Jacob: You're a double negative.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jessica's face contorts into utter horror when her parents discover her nude pictures.
  • One Degree of Separation: All of the characters end up connected in various ways. The biggest is that Hannah is Cal's daughter but what is also significant is that Cal's first one night stand is with Robbie's teacher.
  • One-Hour Work Week: Cal spends only one scene at his desk job, with the rest of his screentime spent shopping, schmoozing, or interacting with his family. Lampshaded when Jacob finds him day drinking and comments that he should be at work; Cal comments that he has a lot of vacation time.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Cal's reaction upon finding out that Jacob's new girlfriend is Hannah, his daughter is to try and veto the relationship, because he knows Jacob as an unrepentant womanizer.
    • Jessica's father goes on a rampage when he thinks Cal is involved with his daughter.
  • Playing Catch with the Old Man: The film hangs a lampshade on this trope as Cal and Robbie bond and work out Cal's issues playing catch. Realizing the inverted nature of the relationship with the young son explaining things to his father, Cal asks, "How old are you?"
  • Please Put Some Clothes On:
    Cal: Would you put on some clothes, please?
    Jacob: Oh, I'm sorry, is this bothering you? Gestures to his crotch in Cal's face.
    Cal: (sarcastically) No, it's not.
    Jacob: Cal, my schwantz is in your face for 20 minutes. If it's not bothering you, we got a bigger problem.
    Cal: OK, it bothers me.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Cal's surprise for Emily is derailed because Jessica's father went straight to confront him instead of talking to Jessica about the nude photos she took in her room.
  • Practically Different Generations: A large age gap sets up a plot twist. Jacob, who is in his late twenties, knows that Cal has two children, a thirteen-year-old son and a younger daughter. He does not find out that Cal also has a much older daughter, Hannah — the woman Jacob is dating — until much later.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    Hannah: (upon Jacob taking his shirt off) FUCK! Seriously?! It's like you're Photoshopped!
  • Precocious Crush: 13-year-old Robbie's crush on 17-year-old Jessica.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: Several characters pronounce David Lindhagen's last name as "Lind-hey-gen", even after he corrects them that it is pronounced "Lind-hah-gen".
  • Really Gets Around: Jacob takes a different woman home from the bar every night. Under Jacob's tutelage, Cal himself develops this reputation, though he only wants to move on from Emily.
  • The Reveal:
    • Marisa Tomei's character is Robbie's teacher.
    • Hannah is Cal and Emily's daughter.
  • Rocky Roll Call: After Hannah is revealed to be Cal and Emily's daughter and Bernie arrives ready to throw down.
    Hannah: Dad!
    Emily: Cal!
    Jacob: Cal.
    Robbie: Jessica?
    Cal: Bernie?
  • Romantic False Lead: David. He and Emily go out on a few dates, but the ending implies that she will get back together with Cal.
  • Running Gag: Mispronouncing "Lindhagen" is played for a few gags throughout the film.
  • Scenery Censor: Cal and Jacob talk in a locker room and then a sauna whilst Jacob is naked. Both times, Cal's head blocks Jacob's "schwantz".
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: Jacob for Cal, although he never teaches Cal to mistreat women. Also, Jacob is much younger than Cal but much more experienced in this regard. Flipped when Jacob's genuine feelings for Hannah cause him to seek Cal's advice on building stable relationships as opposed to one night stands.
  • Shirtless Scene: Jacob takes off his shirt for Hannah, who reacts with "It's like you're Photoshopped!" to his washboard abs.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Though it seems like Cal will be more of a "man" if he follows in Jacob's womanizing ways, the characters eventually realize that in genuine relationships women value kindness and honesty over charm and swagger.
  • Stalking Is Love:
    • Robbie's crush on his babysitter is at heart really disturbing, but is presented in a romantic positive light by the film.
    • Cal consistently sneaks around his family's house and watches Emily. In one scene he happens to be in the yard while Emily calls him under false pretenses.
  • Symbolically Broken Object: Emily tells Cal she wants a divorce after almost 25 years of marriage. In the very next scene their daughter accidentally breaks a photo frame that holds a picture of them. The crack is between their faces.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Played with. Emily is in her mid forties, but she states that she got married very young. It is a bit puzzling, as her children are fairly small (13 and below 10), until it's revealed that she gave birth to Hannah (27) when she was 17.
  • Take That!: "I tried watching the Twilight movie by myself. I don't know what I was thinking. It was so bad!"
  • Terrible Pick-Up Lines: Jacob offers to teach nerdy Cal how to pick up women. Cue the terrible pickup lines Cal provides during his training phase.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Awkward line from Cal towards a girl he was asked to keep company:
    Cal: I wouldn't touch you... if my life depended on it!
  • The Topic of Cancer: Played for Laughs. Cal shows up to work miserable and his coworkers all assume it's cancer. When they learn it's a divorce, they applaud that it's not cancer.
  • Token Minority: The only racial minority with more than a couple of lines is Liz (played by the Filipino-American Liza Lapira), Hannah's best friend whose role amounts to verbally supporting Hannah and Jacob together.
  • The Unfair Sex:
    • Emily cheats on Cal and tells him she wants a divorce (although she's not specifically leaving him for the other man) and their friends take her side — but all are incensed at the rumors of Cal's womanizing.
    • Jessica calls out Robbie on his crush, but it's clear that she's into his dad Cal. The difference is actually way more extreme in her case.
  • Wham Line: Cal sets up a big reunion for Emily with their two little kids and she says she wants to wait for their daughter. Cal nods to her but Emily says "our other daughter." At which point, Hannah calls out "hi guys!", revealing that all the characters are connected.
  • You Remind Me of X: Jacob volunteers to help Cal rediscover his masculinity because he reminds him of somebody. Jacob's later conversation with Hannah implies that this "somebody" is his own deceased father.


Your lips are what?

Seals, get it? HAHAHAHA

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / DontExplainTheJoke

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