Written by Duana

Now this is a story all about how you probably shouldn’t take me to the movies if the movie’s not a slam-dunk. Because I might be embarrassing.

Sasha and I went to see Crazy, Stupid, Love (which I’m not sure needs that second comma AT ALL) with two friends of ours on opening night. That was probably my first mistake, because I learned that when I’m in a massive, packed theatre with people who are laughing hysterically – especially if I don’t want to laugh hysterically – I feel kind of claustrophobic. There’s some Steve Carell stuff that you really hope early on is going somewhere funny, but you know he does that thing where he’s like “actually, I’m making the vulnerable choice in this situation” and that’s all well and good, but it is STARTLING when you’ve oriented yourself for a laugher. You know?

But then Ryan Gosling came onscreen, and I was lulled into sweet submission. He’s SO beautiful and perfect and gorgeous in this role, and I think the moviemakers knew this. Because they use him like a weapon.

I still don’t know where the skinny kid from London, ON learned the swagger that he has. I would almost believe that it was on the Mickey Mouse Club except that he makes Justin Timberlake look like a child. Seriously. You know from the trailer that he’s all suave and sexy, but even though you’re aware it’s a role, almost a caricature at that, damn if my boy doesn’t make it work.

Well, at least while he was onscreen. When he wasn’t….

It is the most schizophrenic thing I’ve ever watched, this movie. Just when you’re all in the thrall of the goodness that is Gosling, and watching Emma Stone’s big eyes (note: great dissent over her among our group) be all emote-y and funny…

…then a teenager says the words ‘soul mate’ and I want to kill myself. In fact, ‘Soul Mate’ came up a lot in this movie.

I think it was at the 10th time that I shoved my head all the way in my purse.

So see? This movie made me act like an overdramatic ass.

I’m not saying don’t go see this movie. I’m just saying be prepared to not know how you should feel. You know, there was this really overwrought scene, and at the end, someone (in the movie) says “What a cliché” and I know you’re trying to wink at your clichéd scene by telling us that you know, and we know you know, but it doesn’t make it any better.

At the end of the movie, we started talking about how a movie like that gets made. But I can see how it was one of those scripts that didn’t ‘read funny’ but that might still have been fantastic. And I will say that the laughs are the laughs, though after thinking about it all weekend, I am officially ready to see Emma Stone (disclaimer: I do love her) do something new. She can do more, I suspect, so let’s see it.

Steve Carell is funny. I bet he made a lot of not-funny lines totally palatable. And every time Emma and Ryan were onscreen, I wanted to just hang out and watch THAT movie. But there were still a lot of times I cringed, and a lot of times you saw Julianne Moore desperately wonder what her character might be doing in this scene, and you just kind of wonder at what point someone said ‘It’s got Gosling. It can’t lose’. Because, really, he saves it.

Also, if you heard Kevin Bacon was in this movie, and that floats your boat? Don’t get too excited.

You may think I’m whining over nothing, and you might be right but for the wrong reasons – I’m doing my best to not-spoil anything. But I spent time on Rotten Tomatoes, and 30% of critics agree with me. That’s not nobody.

Then again. As I mentioned, the entire theatre was roaring. So maybe I really am wrong. As always, let me know.