Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa Film Review by Samantha McQueen
Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa have already nailed hilarious (Bad Santa) and sweet (I Love You, Phillip Morris) in their movie careers. Now, thanks to a killer cast, a clever script and Ryan Gosling in a three piece suit, they’ve managed both in one film, with Crazy, Stupid, Love. Steve Carell is Cal Weaver, a loving husband and father with a steady job, a nice house in the suburbs and a fondness for pairing up jeans with sneakers. But before the film has hit the five minute mark, he’s dropped the bomb that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), slept with someone else and now wants a divorce. Everyone is stunned, especially his 13-yearold son Robbie, who has grand thoughts of soulmates and true love; he’s head over heels for his babysitter Jessica, who in turn, is secretly crushing on Cal. Wanting to drown his sorrows, Cal heads to a swanky cocktail lounge, where he encounters Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), a well-dressed lothario whose way with words sees him with a different girl each night. After a few nights of putting up with Cal’s loud and bitter inner monologue, Jacob takes upon himself to help Cal rediscover his manhood, which includes upgrading his wardrobe and giving him tips Mr Muyagi-style on how to get women into bed. Crazy, Stupid, Love has so many selling points, it’s hard to know where to start. The obvious one is the heavyweight cast. Steve Carell is often hit or miss when it comes to films (hit: 40 Year Old Virgin; miss: Evan Almighty) but Cal is so honestly sweet that even when he’s in the depths of despair, audiences will find it hard not to root for him. And Ryan Gosling, who has made his career playing drug addicts, child killers and romantic heroes, is a comedic stand out as the arrogant ladies’ man. Emma Stone (Easy A) shines on screen as Hannah, the law student who seems immune to Jacob’s lines, and if I was
to fault this film, it would be that Stone doesn’t get nearly enough screen time (not does her R-rated best friend). Screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Cars, Tangled) is another key component in the film’s success. He’s created a script that is bursting with the film’s last word, but without the sappy connotations usually associated with it. Sure, the grand romantic gestures are present, but when it’s a 13-year-old trying to convince a 17-year-old that four years isn’t a big age gap, the cynicism that true love doesn’t always work out is not too far behind. Likewise, his interpretations of one night stands, which don’t feature nudity (unless you count Gosling’s 84 pack), are a breath of fresh air. And in amongst all the craziness that these characters have to endure over the course of a year, a fight between middle-aged men in a suburban backyard is somehow the perfect way to tie it all together.
Boy & Bear
Album Review by Matthew Cattin
Sydney buzz band Boy & Bear have finally released their first full length album after receiving acclaim the world over for their 2010 EP, With Emperor Antarctica. I first heard of the band from an Australian friend visiting our fine shores at the end of 2009. She had seen them live a couple of times and vouched for their immense talent so I checked out their MySpace and was pleasantly surprised. They were quickly snapped up by Triple J Radio and Rolling Stone magazine as bands to keep an eye on, as well as opening for folk heavyweights Mumford and Sons on their tour. It’s good to see talented folk musicians finally breaking into popular music and getting the recognition they deserve. Boy and Bear have a unique folky sound, typically comprising of rolling drums and percussion, rhythmic acoustic guitars, stomping bass and layered vocal harmonies. They make music that is as interesting and changeable as it is catchy, using mandolins, banjos and organs
to full out their sound. The songs never end the same way they started and they tend to avoid the usual verse-chorus-verse-chorus structure, a sign of originality and class in my books. I suppose one could describe them as Avalanche City, if Avalanche City had talent. The first single Feeding Line is a foot stomping builder that you can imagine going down a treat opening a live set. It’s spurred on by explosive dynamics and a driving bass line before mellowing down towards the end for a cutesy whistling segment. It’s hard to describe the mood of a Boy & Bear song. They are typically neither happy nor sad but instead dark and badass. Which is cool! The Village is perhaps the catchiest and instantly adorable track on the album but at just over a minute long I found myself wishing for much more. It seriously is tu meke fun. Sweet percussion and falsetto cooing contrasted by barbershop-esque harmonies and bright catchy guitar. A must-listen for anybody having a crap day. The following track Beach is the ballad of the album. It broods and it builds and (at the risk of sounding yuck) climaxes into awesomeness. Moonfire was definitely worth the wait. It’s a smart, solid album with no dud tracks and plenty of potential singles. They only live over the road so hopefully it won’t be long before they pop over to play the Powerstation. Get into them!
Rain on the Humming Wire Album Review by Melissa Low
Perth indie-rockers The Panics have been in the music scene for almost a decade now. However, they have managed to stay lingering under the mainstream radar. With their songs appearing in shows like Underbelly and Ugly Betty, along with an ARIA win from their last album, The Panics have been trying hard to get their name out there. And with their latest album, Rain on the Humming Wire, they may finally have that chance. Setting the tone of the album, the opening track, Majesty, draws you in with the building
issue 20 2011
Welcome to the political issue of debate, brought to you by AuSM.