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“Crazy, Stupid, Love.” Not as Stupid as It Seems
Cornball Rom-Com Highlights the Power of Self-Confidence
You can really learn something from a chick flick. Contrary to rational thought, it’s not always a complete waste of life’s precious minutes to sit through the latest rom-com with your significant other (it is, however, always horribly sad.) Here are just a few things you can learn from the next Cosmo-approved film:
1. If a girl would sooner die than date you, she’ll be yours in less than 90 minutes.
2. Matthew McConaughey can’t act.
3. Renewed confidence will ensure said girl falls for you.
Whether or not you agree with number two (see “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days”), numbers one and three follow standard romantic comedy logic, and new-to-DVD “Crazy, Stupid, Love” is no formula-breaker.And while I didn’t plan on writing another Inner Game article relating to a movie so soon after my “Back to the Future” series, I was inspired to after being forced (I swear) to watch “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”with my girlfriend. Disregarding the film’s grammatically stupid title (I’m a word nerd), it’s not that bad of a movie for dudes.
If you haven’t been dragged to it kicking and screaming yet, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” stars comic genius Steve Carell as Cal Weaver, a cheated-on, down in the dumps divorcee. Cal is the picture of pitiful. Rocking baggy polo shirts and white New Balance “407s,” Cal hits up the same bar night after night whining about his experience as a cuckold (see Dictionary.com, not Google Images.) Things turn around for him, however, when womanizer Jacob Palmer (played by former Sexiest Man Alive Ryan Gosling) comes to his aid. Jacob, who beds a new woman every night, might not be the greatest role model, but he does help Cal restore his confidence, dressing him up in less frumpy, “I have no game whatsoever” gear and getting him to actually approach women. As a result, Cal becomes more appealing to his ex-wife, at which point we’re treated to a typical never-happen-in-real-life monologue, sad indie folk music, and Kevin Bacon getting punched. Yay.
Gosling’s character Jacob is an over-exaggerated slightly metro womanizer and is meant to be seen as more than slightly ridiculous. At the very least, however, Jacob exudes confidence. He stands in sharp contrast to the self-defeatist, sad sap Cal. The thing is, Jacob doesn’t transform Cal into someone worth talking to by dressing him up in sharp clothes or getting him to say the right things (it sure helps), but by making Cal realize that it’s up to him to go big or go home, to be confident or stew in his misery. While Jacob’s advice might lead Cal to night after night of meaningless sex, in the long run it helps him impress his ex-wife and basically “win” in the movie.
Like Cal, it’s up to you to whether or not you’re going to be that guy sitting alone at the bar downing rum and cokes, or the one toasting with good company in the booth over. Honestly, would you rather be Lenny, the lonely regular with the weird forehead mole who everyone takes pit on or the guy home with his girl on a Friday night watching some dumb romantic comedy? I know I’ve made my choice. Being so, I’m not that mad at my girlfriend for making me watch “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” Next time, however, I’d really prefer something like “Scarface.” Now, there’s a role model.