Movie Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
(big thanks to google translator ↔ google Übersetzer, who has done more than 95 percent of translational work)
Read the Review in german: Stupid, Stupid, Crazy
When I saw the movie „Crazy. Stupid. Love“, I expected a romantic comedy representing outdated morals and the chance to laugh sometimes – as with all Hollywood comedies. In fact, there were few funny scenes and, as expected, tons of dumb morals.
The path of manhood
The film is about the marriage of Cal and Emily Weaver. After more than 20 years, the heat was over, the marriage poor. The partners take the other one for granted until Emily ends this frozen life with a one-night stand. It is her, wo makes the first sinful step „and she took of the fruit“ (Genesis, 3: 6) and gets both kicked out from „paradise marriage“, which existed already not any longer.
Cal, the horned husband, moves out and loses himself in self-pity. He would have done so until the end of days, if, like a rescuing angel, pick-up artist Jacob Palmer had not taught him to be manly. Masculinity means to dress as if you are successful and to appear very determined. The man sets out the way the woman will then go: „Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall be your master“ (Genesis 3:16).
Of course, this concept of masculinity was outdated in 2011, the year the film was released. Buton the other hand it is still propagated by a Hollywood mainstream comedy. In this respect, the Metoo campaign is not surprising. The western world unfortunately is in most part patriarchal, which on the one hand is officially outlawed and on the other hand stands for success and probably leads to success as well. In pretence men insist on equal rights. For real, they enjoy the benefits.
The balance of love
Cal reacts to the cheating of his wife according to the motto „An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth“ (Exodus 21:24). Psychology has found that in a partnership around five good things must happen to make up for a bad experience or situation. This is how the human psyche works. Cal, however, lives out in the ratio 9: 1. He sleeps after being instructed by Jacob with nine different women to atone for the one-time misstep of his wife.
This unequal relationship confirms the patriarchal US society. The man is legitimized in „Crazy, Stupid, Love“ to collect the greater number of sexual experiences. This would be the balance of love.
After all, who would fall for this mid-age pick-up-artist? Of course, his own wife, who soon discovered that her life is pretty empty without her husband. She didn‘t desire the absent partnership in marriage but more a guy who takes what he wants. Or you have to realize that a woman alone knows nothing to do with herself, while the man alone finds his energy and matures to a better version of himself. Although I have found no Bible passage, but the mind behind it seems to be just as old.
The gender-moral message of the film is ridiculous on quite a few levels.
There are some giggles
The movie is funny because it cleverly links its character personnel. At the center is Cal, who abandoned by his wife gets rescued by Jacob. His thirteen-year-old son loves the 17-year-old babysitter, who in turn loves Cal because he’s the nicest of all babysitting fathers. The father of the babysitter is friends with Cal, but decides after the breakup under the influence of his wife for Team Emily.
Jacob, who saves Cal from the downward spiral of ever-growing self-pity, spends every night in a bar that’s full of women who could be models. The women are always single, young and desire a sexual experience with a man who leads them. As everyone knows, such pubs can be found in every smaller town all over the country.
However, Jacob then falls in love with Hanna, who has just come from a relationship with a dry-boring lawyer and, as will be found out later, is the adult daughter of Cal and Emily. Of course, Cal can not accept Jacob as a son in law. These confusions create funny scenes.
The ever clouding patriarchal attitude
Part of the film’s patriarchal attitude is that Cal feels his own actions as a correc compensation for the cheating of his wife. But when it comes to Jacob, who desires a woman from Cals clan, then the same action is reprehensible. If I get cheated, it is terrible and contemptible. If I cheat, then there are good reasons, and in fact the unfaithful act says nothing about the state of the relationship. This is how men argue.
The film ends by emphasizing that each person has exactly one soulmate and nothing can destroy the love between them. Which is nonsense, of course. Actually, the film suggests that you can stress a soulmate a lot, because a soulmate is a soulmate and you will find each other anyway. Soul kinship endures a bit of cheating. Which of course is nonsense.
Overall, the film has its funny scenes, but the inconsistent telling outweighs this. The film ends in a kitsch that is hard to bear but it‘s still more easy to bear better than the presented patriarchal morality.