For suburban insurance man Cal (Steve Carell), who apparently hasn’t paid much attention to his wife, Emily—or his life—lately, the news comes completely out of left field, setting him on a road to discover just where he might’ve left the man he used to be.
To portray Cal’s about-to-be ex-wife, the filmmakers needed to find someone who would remain both sympathetic and likeable, despite the fact that she has seemingly ruined Cal’s life. Casting acclaimed actress Julianne Moore was an easy choice.
“She’s not exactly known for comedy, but she has such effervescence about her,” producer Denise Di Novi says. “She brought so much to the part, so much humor to the heartache. She played Emily with grace and charm. You can see why Cal views her as his soulmate.”
“Cal and Emily have been married for a long time but have become kind of disconnected,” Moore relates. “I loved that this story started with that, where they are past ‘how do I meet this person and fall in love with them and get married?’—so far past it that they are moving away from each other.”
Moore felt that the various facets of the story—divorce included—made this a modern, relatable film for audiences. “I think that people go to movies to see themselves, particularly with this genre. We want to laugh, we want to fall in love, but with the reality of marriages today, it’s natural to present that side of relationships, too. Families are complicated and I liked that this wasn’t going to be a traditional romantic comedy, but that it explored all sides of love.”
Despite the friction between Cal and Emily, Moore enjoyed working with Carell, whom she says “not only made me laugh, but was a really thrilling acting partner because he truly knows how to mine even the most nuanced bits of absurdity out of every moment.”
The feeling was mutual. Says Carell, “She’s the sweetest person, one of those people that you feel like you’ve known forever, even if you’ve just met. So when her character betrays mine in the film, of course I had to be mad at her, but it was really hard to do.”
Opening across the Philippines on Aug. 17, “Crazy, Stupid, Love” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.