75 of 88 people found the following review helpful
A swing and a miss. A swing and a hit.,
This review is from: Crazy, Stupid, Love (DVD)
As comedies go, I think this is probably one of the better ones you will see this year.
Steve Carell plays Cal, a husband who splits from his high school sweetheart, played by Julianne Moore, after she cheats. Hanging out in single bars every nights he sees this ladies man played by Ryan Gosling successfully pick up numerous women, while he says out loud to anyone who will listen, 'my wife cheated on me with xxxx.'
Meanwhile his teenage son has the hots for his babysitter, while the babysitter crushes on Cal. We have 4 romantic triangles between the main characters, that are developed to great comic effect.
So, Ryan Gosling's character takes him under his wing, as his wing man, and shows him how to score with the ladies, which leads to many interesting twists and turns.
There were several parts of this movie that made me cringe, one was the patheticness of the character played by Steve Carell. The teenage crush made me cringe a little, especially with the absurd things this kid did to get her attention.
In fairness this was more than balanced with some high quality scenes and interactions, particularly the scenes with Marisa Tomei, who I thought was absolutely brilliant, especially when her simmering emotions boil over at the parent teacher meeting.
The Dirty Dancing routine between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone was simply movie magic, and one of the best scenes I have seen all year, two quality actors, chemistry, everything, perfect.
I have a sneaking suspicion that Ryan Gosling may be one the best actors on the planet. You probably know him from The Notebook, a perennial top 100 rental on leading dvd rental sites. He has studously avoided the mainstream doing indie and art house movies. Watching his performance in Blue Valentine with Michelle Williams convinced me of his greatness, with some reminders of a young DeNiro, without the psychotic overtones, or even perhaps Sean Penn, the most respected actor among his peers.
The proof may not be out there yet, and I am so glad to see him to see him in a mainstream movie. I hope that he will continue to make critically acclaimed movies and also more widely seen movies, and that he will get both the recognition, and ultimately the accolades he deserves.
Emma Stone, what can you say, she is the best of the young actresses who has emerged over the last two years, outstanding in Easy A, and now the lead in The Help, for which she may get an Oscar nom.
I hope this was helpful, and I think the movie is worth seeing.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 18, 2011 2:21:55 AM PDT
L. Power--Thank you for the great review as I have been dying to see this movie forever now. I just keep hearing by all the mainstream critics about Ryan Gosling in this film and how much of an awesome job he does. You know, there is probably not one movie that I have not seen of his. I really don't think people know the caliber of actor he really is, have you seen "The United States Of Leland" or "Half Nelson"? These two are MIND BLOWING and, of course Sundance film selections and winners. I loved Blue Valentine, while so many others just did not get the point of that great poignant film. It is not supposed to leave you with a 'warm fuzzy feeling' inside--it's a massive character study of basically, their pain. I just saw "All Good Things" with Gosling, and saw some of the most daring acting to date from him. See it if you haven't, it is a film based on a factual happening that has gone unsolved for decades-AWESOME. I bet you cannot tell that I too am blown away by Gosling's acting, there isn't anything he cannot do. I heard him say to 'someone' (wish my memory was better here) that he really looked forward to doing this movie and trying a comedy after all the emotionally draining and taxing movies he's been doing lately. I knew he would be great in this, as always. I liked your pitch on Emma Stone, when I first saw her in "Paper Man", I thought this "woman is phenomenal", then followed it up with "Easy A". I didn't expect much from this movie-more toward a teenage exploitation flick, was I ever surprised. She was a knock out; funny, dark-humored, sarcastic, and I could go on forever with that film. Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci as her parents really added so much to the movie--what chemistry between them with the family scenes!! Also Thoman Hayden Church spit out another superlative performance, he's really a 'go to' actor for adding just the right spice to the recipe. Another reviewer above wrote that 'Carell can act!', well take a look at "Little Miss Sunshine", that should take any doubt away, also "Dan In Real Life" (a personal favorite of mine) where he plays a straight up dad and does a wonderful job, oh yes, 'he can act!'!
Back to Ryan Gosling, I can't figure out how he didn't get the Oscar nod with Williams or really instead of her. He had a much harder 'row to hoe' in that one because he was the caring, empathetic family man while Williams was more aloof and one dimensional. After seeing that one, I reviewed it and still couldn't get it out of my mind. I would say that is due to great acting and a marvelous script--the mood in that was it's own character it seemed. Once again, thanks for posting that great review--I would have seen the movie anyway, but in your review you let everyone know why they should see it and I appreciate those reviews.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2011 10:32:48 AM PDT
I appreciate your comments. I have not seen United States of leland, All Good Things, or Half Nelson, but I will make a point of watching them. As I see most of the mainstream releases this reinforces my point about him being critically acclaimed though not as widely known as his talent merits.
I think Michelle Williams did deserve her nomination, although I admit he impressed me more. As male and female performances are grouped in separate categories, one cannot be nominated instead of the other, but I know what you mean.
I also have not seen Paper Man, though I have seen House Bunny, and Superbad, and of course Zombieland, which was where I first really noticed her.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2011 3:22:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 2, 2011 7:08:42 AM PST
L. Power, thanks for the response, that was kind of you to regard it. PLEASE see the suggested films with Gosling; "All Good Things" is a mainstream production with Kirsten Dunst in her best acting ever--not the 'sugary girlie stuff' we're used to with her. I've never seen her pull off this type of role to date. Also, have you seen "Lars And The Real Girl"? The premise it is sold on is 'not' an accurate portrait of the picture, which makes it appear "silly and trite", it's a 'psychological study' of a severely emotionally damaged man, also mainstream. Focusing in a small northern Minnesota town where there is a definite scandinavian feel to the dialect and traditions of the people there ( I'm Swedish, so it has an extra appeal to me ). There is a lot of quirky humor in it with Gosling esp.--you can't help but laugh during this one. I always love dark humor.
I understand about the Academy nods, just thought, where is Gosling's? He out acted her in my view--he stayed focused and reactive in his role while, I thought, William's character started getting too aloof ( thought that would be much more easy to pull off ), although I do give her a lot of credit for stirring up chaos in their marriage-great job there.
House Bunny, seemed normal T&A to me and I really couldn't get past that, Superbad, yeah 'it flew', Zombieland I have not seen yet although have heard 'great things' about it and will now watch it. Be sure and see the Indie, "Paper Man". It stars Jeff Daniels with his 'alter-ego' Ryan Reynolds as "Captain Excellent" and the excellent Emma Stone, I really don't want to give away too much here if you decide to see it-it is worth your time and $ being a Stone enthusiast as I am. The flick also co-stars Lisa Kudrow as Daniel's emasculating wife. This one is under the comedy genre, although it contains some HEAVY drama along with plenty of dark humor and blatant humor with Reynold's character. It really deserves a couple viewings to get it all in, awesome movie for a first time director using heavy 'A-Listers' also in this Indie flick. I think I found it while searching out Reynold's movies and saw it on Amazon's video on demand (or whatever they call it now!). They offer a video to watch before viewing or renting, of course many of the funny parts--but to a movie enthusiast, it is worth so much more then just the comedic value.
Well, I'm hoping you'll take a look at what I suggested. Any and all Gosling films are wonderful for me, I don't see how that man can be so talented--it's amazing to me. Also Emma Stone is certainly on the rise, so looking forward to the one you reviewed and "The Help", really anything, I'll also stream Zombieland too, sounds like you appreciate the actors that I do also. Thanks for your time and suggestions, good to talk with you in cyberspace!! Sheryl
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 10:26:57 AM PDT
Thank you Sheryl:
I have just bought the United States of Leland as it's so cheap on Amazon, and put All Good Things, on my wish list for now. Thank you for the recommendations. Paper man looks quite intriguing.
I have never gone to see a movie because Michelle Williams was in it. The reason I saw Blue Valentine was because it got nominated for best movie. In fairness to her I do understand why she got the Oscar nod, she certainly had a great enrapturing presence in the movie, and I enjoying seeing the acting without acting performance, and she looked darned good too. In fact as movies go, it was probably the two best acting performances in a single movie I saw prior to the Oscars, while the movie itself was rooted in reality. Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 12:35:58 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2011 3:00:35 PM PDT
You are very welcome!!
I am so glad that you regarded my suggestion, here's hoping you love it too. I really was turned around by the extrordinary performance of Gosling in this 'gem', more like a masterpiece. When I looked at the customers reviews, I was disheartened to see so many people ( really not a very large number because people just don't seem to realize it's out there) with a negative opinion of this also. Sundance has it chosen for an official film for it's year at the festival, and I do regard their ratings very highly. I am really interested in your excellent opinion of it after you view it. I'm SURE that your opinion, in the form of a review would really help to get this one noticed, like what you have alluded to me before about his performances being "under the radar" when his talent is so above it. It would be great if you could share with others your opiion in reviews if you would be so generous. I have reviewed all that I have suggested to you, with the exception of "Half Nelson", I do intend to write one after viewing one more time so detail is fresh in my memory.
Thank you again for your generous notations to me, as I find Ryan Gosling worth talking about in the acting realm, I just feel he is far superior to most for quite awhile now, several years I would have to say. Also, looking in your post about Michelle Williams, she is in this movie and does an excellent job, I was also very impressed with the acting of Chris Klein-I think that it is so out of character for what I usually see him doing on film, he's far better here and shows a whole different side to himself. This movie has a varied cast of well known actors/actresses who all seem to bring their 'A game' to this. Back to Williams, as I started, she really emotes an over-all sense of helplessness with greiving and does a superlative job, I could really 'feel' for her for the first time and I thought it an excellent performance by her, as I am not too familiar with her work in films. I do have an awakened respect for her here. I know she was in "Broke Back Mountain", this must have been a very brave performance by her. This film 'proves' her to me. Happy viewing! Sheryl
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2011 2:27:52 PM PDT
I have now seen Paper Man, and she was phenomenal. A really intriguing movie.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 6:19:09 AM PST
Tony Rome says:
you got it L....Ryan Gosling is the finest young actor working on movies today
Posted on Dec 3, 2011 8:09:21 AM PST
Thank you for the feedback. And he seems to just keep getting better.
Posted on Dec 3, 2011 8:09:58 AM PST
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