Most rom-coms — especially ensemble rom-coms — suck as date movies. Even those rare rom-coms that are actually halfway decent films (e.g. “Love, Actually” or “My Best Friend’s Wedding”) tend to split us right down the ol’ gender divide. Women kind of like them (even when they’re terrible) and men kind of hate them (even when they’re good). So, the guy can’t believe that the woman he’s with actually enjoys this crap and gets judgmental and acts like a jerky baby and the woman get pissed at him for not understanding the concept of a “guilty pleasure” and ruining her good time. (This description, like so many rom-coms is, of course, a grossly stereotypical oversimplification.)
“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (which opens Friday), on the other hand, looks like a date movie that won’t end in grumpiness, hurt feelings and miscommunication. In fact, both parties might even enjoy themselves. Here are 5 reason why.
1. It actually looks like it might be funny
Yeah, there aren’t a lot of laugh-out-loud moments in the trailer, but generally that’s a good thing. A trailer that doesn’t blow a movie’s entire comedic wad often indicates a well-crafted flick that relies on the timing and chemistry of the cast rather than one-liners and gags.
2. It’s fair to both genders
From what I can see, it looks like both the men and women in this movie are portrayed as actual people, as opposed to marriage-crazy/handbag-loving/too-busy-for-love/neurotic/sex-crazed or high-fiving/beer-swilling/over-anxious-and-straight-laced/just-loves-you-for-who-you-are-no-matter-what. Seems like the kind of movie that a guy and a girl could together and not leave feeling like they’d been pigeon-holed into some stereotype or unrealistic fantasy.
3. Steve Carell
For some reason, Steve Carell as a sex symbol is something that everyone can get behind. When guys root for Steve Carell’s success with the ladies, they’re really rooting for their own sex appeal as a middle aged man, whether they’re already there or on their inevitable way. When a woman I’m dating is into Steve Carell, I’m not jealous — I’m hopeful.
4. Marissa Tomei
I think she might work exactly the same way for women as Carell does for guys. I have always felt comfortable discussing my attraction to Marisa Tomei openly with women I’m dating. Even before she became the queen of nude-scenes-over-40 and locked down her “you go girl” cred.
5. Moral ambiguity around cheating makes for great date conversation
I’m actually serious. In “Crazy Stupid Love,” Julianne Moore cheats on Steve Carell, but she’s not villainized. In fact, the journey of Carell’s character seems to be coming to terms with his own complicity in her infidelity. Talking about where you really stand on this stuff with a date is an excellent compatibility test and it will get you beyond the small talk and into the nitty gritty.
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