Warner Bros. presents “Crazy, Stupid, Love” starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone. Joining them are Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Josh Groban and Filipino-American actress Liza Lapira.
Steve Carell says, “Age usually denotes some sort of growth, some sort of leg-up on the learning curve, but that’s not always the case when it comes to love. This is a great story because it involves three different generations of romance. What I found really interesting to explore was the crossover between them and the idea that, even as we get older, we don’t always have all the answers. The lessons we can learn from our kids are sometimes the most surprising.”
Carell’s character in “Crazy, Stupid, Love” is Cal Weaver, a man whose life falls apart in the opening scene when, without warning, his wife announces she wants a divorce. Having the rug pulled out from under him, he flails around, trying to find his footing, when he’s offered an unexpected and unusual lifeline in the form of ladies’ man Jacob Palmer, played by Ryan Gosling.
Glenn Ficarra, who directed the film with John Requa, states, “This is a story about a guy who has a mid-life crisis thrust upon him as opposed to coming to it naturally, and the domino effect it has on everyone around him.”
In addition to the details of the story and characters, the overarching theme of love, present in so many different forms, was a big draw for the directing duo.
Requa contends, “Love is vital. For most people, it’s really the most important thing, the greatest thing in life worth fighting for. But it can also be a great source of comedy, which is how we felt when we read the script.”
The screenplay, written by Dan Fogelman, “was one of the best I’ve ever read,” says producer Denise Di Novi. “It was funny, very witty, very smart. It took a clear look at human relationships—marriage, parenting, first love, long-term love—in a way that was dramatic and edgy and hilarious…an irresistible combination for me.”
Fogelman actually wrote the screenplay with Carell in mind for the character of Cal. “I had the initial idea of a guy whose wife leaves him, and he meets another guy in a bar, and that guy trains him to become a sort of older version of himself, to rediscover his manhood and, well, pick up women. I could instantly imagine Steve playing him.”
Fogelman’s script became the first project to be produced under Carell’s own Carousel banner, with partners Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock serving as executive producers on the project. Both filmmakers saw the story’s appeal right away. “Everything was hidden so nicely inside the script, and every time I turned the page I was excited to find out what would happen,” Hartsock says. “But what really impressed me was that I never felt ahead of the script, I never thought, ‘Oh, I see where this is going.’ That made reading it even better.”
DeGeneres offers, “The humor comes very naturally out of the situation and the character. Cal was very real and his story—his relationship falling apart after years of marriage—was something a lot of people can relate to. It really fit with what Carousel is all about.”
It was also precisely the kind of movie that directing partners Requa and Ficarra, who have previously only directed their own material, couldn’t pass up. Notes Ficarra, “We have a common ear for what we like, and there were issues in this story—mid-life crises, family dynamics—that really rang true and were very tempting to us.”
“I liked the way Dan examined how annoying love can be,” Requa says. “The script was just so impressive, and it’s a character-based comedy, which is exactly what we like to do.”
Di Novi states, “Glenn and John have a style that we all felt would match perfectly with this project. They’re really able to access the underlying emotion of a scene, even through the laughter. They bring a real sense of humanity to what they do.”
Opening soon across the Philippines, “Crazy, Stupid Love” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.