Love can make people stupid. That’s not just a corny turn of a phrase based on the title of this movie we’ll be discussing today but it’s a cold, hard fact. When you’re either trying to woo someone you’re attracted to or are completely in love with another human being you can act more than a little stupid. You’ll do things you never thought you’d do, act in ways you never imagined you would and likely be completely happy in the process, seeing the results your craziness is having in the person on the receiving end of it.
This week’s movie Crazy Stupid Love is about all sorts of relationships in all sorts of stages. That’s hardly original ground, having been trod by all manner of movies and TV Shows. Married couple Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have been married for decades and seemingly happy until he finds out she’s been cheating with David (Kevin Bacon) and wants a divorce. Depressed, he latches on to confirmed player Jacob (Ryan Gosling) who is smitten with whip-smart and no-nonsense Hannah (Emma Stone). Cal then awkwardly begins a relationship with Kate (Marisa Tomei) but is still truly in love with Emily. Meanwhile he’s trying to help his son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) as he’s crushing hard on the older babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). So there are all sorts of things going on with a sizable ensemble cast.
There were a number of posters created for the movie, something that should be all the surprising given the number of name players in the cast.
A teaser series used the movie’s title to create a nice sequence of shots. So there are a couple that feature the word “Crazy”, one that shows the Carell/Tomei relationship from his point of view and one from hers, both of which showing the awkwardness he’s feeling and the aggressive vibe she’s giving off, one with “Stupid” that has the three guys engaging in a little bit of aggressive emotional venting, and two with “Love,” one that shows Gosling and Stone in bed laughing and one with Carell and Moore sharing a laugh as well, though they’re fully clothed. That’s a nice way to show off most of the cast in different situations, all of which together give the audience the sense that we’ll be having some funny and engaging moments in the story.
The final theatrical one-sheet uses the same image of Carell with a terrified look on his face through the frame of Tomei’s raised leg that’s on one of the teasers, relegating the rest of the cast to a series of headshots at the bottom of the image.
The movie’s trailer opens with Moore and Carell driving along as she confesses to having an affair and wanting to separate. He’s so unable to deal with this that he just exits the car as it’s still driving along, showing he’s not exactly the most emotive guy on the planet. We then transition to seeing how much of a player Gosling’s Jacob is and how he takes Cal under his wing to show him how to be a single guy again, getting him new clothes and a new look. That results in the awkward encounter with Tomei. Then things get flipped as Jacob looks to Cal for advice on how to deal with the fact he might actually be feeling something for Hannah beyond being a one-night-stand. We also get glimpses of the storyline between Robbie and Jessica and then, towards the end, some sense of Hannah’s attitude.
The trailer conveys a movie that is plenty funny, with snippets of great dialogue and a good pace, but also one that has some genuine emotion going on under the surface. More than anything, though, it shows that the performances of this collection of fine actors has the potential – the potential, mind you – to take whatever is on the page and do something more with what’s there. It’s certainly sold as being an attractive alternative to an adult crowd with some potential crossover into younger audiences as well.
The movie’s official website opens, as is often the case, by playing the trailer. After you either watch or skip that the first section of content is the “Synopsis” which is halfway decent and makes it clear that the primary relationship is the one between Cal and Emily since that gets the majority of the column inches here.
After that is a “Gallery” that contains a number of stills from the movie and then comes “Videos” where you’ll be able to watch the trailer once again as well as a few TV Spots. “Downloads” has a variety of virtual swag to grab and add to your machine.
“Cast & Filmmakers” contains career histories on the Cast, the Filmmakers as well as Production Notes to download. You can listen to song snippets on the “Soundtracks” page and view some sites that gave away movie promotional material in “Sweeps.”
Finally, the “Love Quiz” lets you plot on a four-quadrant graph where you fall in choosing between Crazy/Not Crazy and Stupid/Not Stupid. You can also leave a comment on the choice you make and view what others have left as well. That’s a slightly better take on this concept than is usually presented on the sites for romantic comedies.
The Facebook page has updates on the promotional and marketing activities for the movie as well as photos and videos.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
There were a ton of TV spots created for the film, all taking different tacks on selling the movie. Some focused on one relationship over the other but most all of them sold the movie as being an intelligent, well-written and well-acted dramatic comedy of sorts that, depending on which spot you choose, is primarily aimed at one demographic over another. Most all of them have the same general tone as the trailer, showing it’s a slick and attractive film that is well-made but not too challenging to the audience.
Media and Publicity
The cast, primarily Carell, made some media rounds of talk shows and such talking about the movie and all that. But that’s about it, with no major press stories hitting, at least none that have crossed my radar.
I keep using (or have stopped myself from over-using) the words “slick,” “attractive” or “whip-smart” but that’s the overall tone I’m getting from this campaign. The campaign definitely has a vibe of trying to sell a movie that’s not a traditional romantic comedy even as it tries to hit some of those same points so as not to appear too unfamiliar to the general movie-going audience.
As I’ve said, Carrel is certainly the focal point here and it’s apparent that it’s his character’s story that we’re primarily following. But there’s a conscious effort made to include more of the cast in an attempt to bridge multiple age groups, particularly by focusing at times on the Gosling/Stone relationship that plays out since she’s one of the hottest young actresses of the moment. It’s a solid campaign that, while it can’t compete on volume, does work hard to win over a good potion of the public.
PICKING UP THE SPARE
- 07/26/11 – FunnyOrDie has a pretty funny video showing Carell’s outrageous contract demands in regards to how he’s presented on his movie’s posters.