'Crazy, Stupid, Love': A fresh take on the male movie makeover
There are all kinds of reasons to go see "Crazy, Stupid, Love" starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, which hit theaters Friday. While our film critic Betsey Sharkey has laid out most of them in her review (linked at the bottom of this post), I'll add another: the clothes.
From the opening scene -- which starts with a pan across a room full of restaurant patrons' feet that finally comes to rest on a pair of Prada heels toe-to-toe across from a pair of New Balance running shoes -- to the closing one in which the wearing (or not wearing) of a necktie says nearly as much as the dialogue itself, the clothes play a key role in the transformation of Carell's Cal Weaver character.
That's thanks in large measure to the film's costume designer Dayna Pink, whose love of menswear and appreciation of its details is apparent not only in the way she dresses Gosling (in Alexander McQueen, YSL, Simon Spurr and custom Gossuin shirts) and the post-makeover Carell (in labels like Burberry, Zegna, Canali, Prada and Etro), but in the way she reverse engineers Carell's character into a fashion don't for the early parts of the film.
Pink had been enthusiastically telling me about "Crazy, Stupid, Love" since shortly after I interviewed her last year about the hilarious mid-'80s wardrobe she put together for the John Cusack comedy "Hot Tub Time Machine," and after I saw a screening, it was apparent why: Cal Weaver's transformation is a fresh departure from the traditional male makeover we're used to seeing on the silver screen.
That spurred me on to researching how the male movie makeover has been portrayed in the past, and why it might be changing now. The resulting story, which appears in this Sunday's Image section, is probably one of the few style stories that includes "The Bridges of Madison County" and "Avatar" in the same sentence -- not to mention the same genre.
-- Adam Tschorn
Photo: At left, pre-makeover Steve Carell with Julianne Moore in "Crazy, Stupid, Love." At right, Ryan Gosling (left) and a post-makeover Steve Carell. Credit: Warner Bros.