A few nights ago, Andreas and I stayed up late watching Crazy, Stupid, Love. It was pretty good for what it was. Started out strong with some witty dialogue and compelling introductions to the major players. It’s not a perfect movie by any means; it has major problems keeping its subplots intertwined and when a character’s subplot isn’t happening they just kind of drop out of existence completely. (We don’t see Emma Stone for like 20 minutes at one point). It doesn’t know how to handle all the talent that it’s got to play with and the movie really suffers for it. When you have two of the most well-loved, talented, redheaded actresses in the world in your movie, and you just kind of throw them to the side while the “Steve Carell becomes a playboy” story is happening, it’s just not good filmmaking. But it was still a pretty fun movie overall and it had lots of this:
But then the ending came. Like, okay…the totally contrived bullshit about Emma Stone being their daughter, I can let that go, I really can. Because I like to think of Emma Stone as Julianne Moore’s daughter. And I can get over the ridiculous backyard fight. But I cannot—can fucking not—forgive this fucking ending. Let me give a little context for this shit.
Robbie, the 13-year-old son, is “in love” with his 17-year-old babysitter Jessica. And I’m not talking “cute, fluffy, puppy love”—no, this kid thinks that Jessica is his soul mate. He spends the whole movie doing really ridiculous, creepy things to show her that he loves her. All throughout this subplot, the movie stumbles around with what it wants to do with this character: he’s undeniably creepy and at times, it feels like the movie is poking fun at the typical stalkerish rom-com bullshit.
At the end, however, it’s his eighth grade graduation and he’s giving a speech. He starts to say that he no longer believes in true love and, in a truly disgusting display of moralistic bullshit, Steve Carell stands up and says NO SON, BELIEVE IN TRUE LOVE, BELIEVE! He talks about how he was only 15 when he met his “soul mate” and that he’ll never give up on her, even when things are rough. So, basically he completely condones every creepy, inappropriate thing his son has done throughout the movie. When Robbie tells Jessica that he masturbates to her picture? When he texted Jessica about how much he loved her until she flat-out said “this is making me uncomfortable”? When he built a scaffold in front of his school and announced his undying love for her in front of everyone? All of this is totally okay! Because he’s just fighting for true love, man! Needless to say, this had me a bit miffed.
And what’s fucking worse is that it’s not just Steve Carell. The movie leaves absolutely no ambiguity about whether or not it condones Robbie’s behavior. Because after the speech, Robbie is looking hopefully through the crowd and meets eyes with Jessica, and she smiles at him. And then gives him FUCKING NAKED PICTURES OF HERSELF. Because…yeah, I guess she’s okay with him being creepy and is so cool with the idea of him jerking off to her that she wants to help him out with it!
Are you even kidding me right now? She’s seventeen. He’s thirteen. This is disturbing and wrong. And it just annoys the fuck out of me that instead of having one of the parents come in and teach this kid that this isn’t okay and you can’t just violate someone’s personal space and make them feel uncomfortable just because you have feelings for them, all of the characters completely approve of his behavior to the point where the moral of the goddamn movie is that you should act this way.
Another frustrating element to all of this is that Jessica had a creepy subplot too; she was “in love” with Steve Carell and took the naked pictures specifically for him. She never gave them to him (though she intended to) but when her parents discover the pictures, they completely lose their shit and it leads to the ridiculous backyard brawl between Jessica’s father and Steve Carell. Jessica’s creepy sexual actions have negative consequences for everyone, while Robbie’s parents don’t even bat an eye at how disturbing his actions are and at the end his behavior is not just accepted, but seen as commendable and good.
It’s just so icky. It ruined what was otherwise a flawed but fun little movie. There isn’t enough shirtless Ryan Gosling in the world that can make me forgive this shit. Though I appreciated their effort…
And it’s got that hideous fucking poster!