Crazy, Stupid, Love and Then Comes Divorce?

The first part of this blog post’s title is the name of a movie that’s in theaters now. “Crazy, Stupid, Love” stars the hilarious Steve Carell and the heart-throb Ryan Gosling and has earned a 76% critics approval rating on RottenTomatoes.com. The second part of the blog post’s title is what happens to at least half of US marriages and that’s divorce. (We’re not even counting the higher rate of divorce for second and third marriages!) Basically, the blog post’s title sums up the movie and also what happens to so many in real life, too.

It seems that the popularity of this movie has as much to do with its subject as it does with the stellar cast. As the New York Times movie critic said in his review,

The movie, true to its own PG-13 rating, opts for mildness, modesty and chastened optimism. At the same time, though, it seems to know that a crueler, more cynical rendering of its story — a ‘Bitter, Hopeless, Love’ — lurks between the lines.

This is on its face a “drama-comedy (AKA dramedy). The story of a long-term marriage that unexpectedly (for at least one party) ends with infidelity (an office romance no less!) and the painful process of recovery after the marriage ends.

Steve Carell is the scorned spouse who tries to re-enter the dating world in the most spectacular LA club scenes. He is befriended by the handsome lothario Jacob (Ryan Gosling) who attempts to teach him how to pick-up the ladies, and even gives him a makeover in the traditional visit-to-the-mall montage. But perhaps the most poignant part of the film is the characters’ idea of soul-mates. There are those who believe we each have one perfect mate and those who believe there are many perfect ones and it’s all a matter of who you meet first.

No matter which perspective you have or if you are somewhere in the middle, it’s a basic human need and desire to connect with another and maybe that’s why despite getting divorced people try again. Yes, divorce is painful and contentious, and full of angst and bitterness, and that’s why people hire divorce attorneys, and psychologists, and financial planners to help them get through it. But maybe more importantly, love is wondrous and joyful, and full of hope and dreams and that’s why people get married – again and again.

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