Sometimes the coincidental release of a new film -- especially a comedy -- can torpedo a star's hopes for winning an award for something else. Consider how "Norbit" may have helped sink Eddie Murphy's Oscar dreams for "Dreamgirls" (2006). Now here comes the release of "Crazy, Stupid, Love" while Steve Carell gets his last shot for winning an overdue Emmy for "The Office."
The key difference may be that "Norbit" was lambasted by film critics while "Crazy, Stupid, Love" is getting mostly good reviews, and both the film and his show are comedies. The film scores a respectable 67 at Metacritic and Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman gives it a perfect score, hailing it as "an enchanting light comedy of romantic confusion."
Carell's performance is not only good, it's surprising. Notes the L.A. Times, "Carell — renowned for big comedic parts in movies such as 'Get Smart' and 'Date Night,' and of course as television's insufferable-but-endearing boss Michael Scott on NBC's 'The Office' — switches to a lower gear as a more serious fortysomething with relationship woes."
"Crazy, Stupid, Love" will still be in theaters when Emmy voting gets underway Aug. 8. Assuming the film does well at the box office and thus is considered a success, it may help him. Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston won Emmys right after the releases of "The Opposite of Sex" and "The Good Girl," respectively. "Knocked Up" may have helped Katherine Heigl pull off an upset win for best supporting drama actress in "Grey's Anatomy" in 2007.
-- Tom O'Neil
Photo: Steve Carell in "Crazy, Stupid, Love." Credit: Warner Bros.