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About The Production

Cal, you've got a kind face. You've got a good head of hair. You seem like a nice guy. I'm going to help you rediscover your manhood. Do you have any idea when you lost it?


A strong case can be made for 1984.

Whether you're middle-aged marrieds on the brink of divorce, a passionate young couple in your twenties or thirties, or teenagers with your first real crush, love can make you do crazy, stupid things.

Steve Carell, who stars in and produces the film, says, "Age usually denotes some sort of growth, some sort of leg-up on the learning curve, but that's not always the case when it comes to love. This is a great story because it involves three different generations of romance. What I found really interesting to explore was the crossover between them and the idea that, even as we get older, we don't always have all the answers. The lessons we can learn from our kids are sometimes the most surprising.”

Carell's character in "Crazy, Stupid, Love.” is Cal Weaver, a man whose life falls apart in the opening scene when, without warning, his wife announces she wants a divorce. Having the rug pulled out from under him without warning, he flails around, trying to find his footing, when he's offered an unexpected and unusual lifeline in the form of ladies' man Jacob Palmer, played by Ryan Gosling.

Glenn Ficarra, who directed the film with John Requa, states, "This is a story about a guy who has a mid-life crisis thrust upon him as opposed to coming to it naturally, and the domino effect it has on everyone around him.” In addition to the details of the story and characters, the overarching theme of love, present in so many different forms, was a big draw for the directing duo.

Requa contends, "Love is vital. For most people, it's really the most important thing, the greatest thing in life worth fighting for. But it can also be a great source of comedy, which is how we felt when we read the script.” The screenplay, written by Dan Fogelman, "was one of the best I've ever read,” says producer Denise Di Novi. "It was funny, very witty, very smart. It took a clear look at human relationships—marriage, parenting, first love, long-term love—in a way that was dramatic and edgy and hilarious…an irresistible combination for me.”

Fogelman actually wrote the screenplay with Carell in mind for the character of Cal. "I had the initial idea of a guy whose wife leaves him, and he meets another guy in a bar, and that guy trains him to become a sort of older version of himself, to rediscover his manhood and, well, pick up women. I could instantly imagine Steve playing him.”

To round out the story and characters, the writer drew from his own experiences. "I'm in my thirties, I'm single, I've been through the wringer just like everyone,” he smiles. "I also have many friends who are married and have kids. People love to give you advice. So I just compiled all of the things I knew and heard and created Cal as this ‘everyman' character in need of some guidance and Jacob as something of a guru.”

Fogelman's script became the first project to be produced under Carell's own Carousel banner, with partners Vance DeGeneres and Charlie Hartsock serving as executive producers on the project. Both filmmakers saw the story's appeal right away.

"Everything was hidden so nicely inside the script, and every time I turned the page I was excited to find out what would happen,” Hartsock says. "But what really impressed me was that I never felt ahead of the script, I never thought, ‘Oh, I see where this is going.' That made reading it even better.”

DeGeneres offers, "The humor comes very naturally out of the situation and the character. Cal was very real and his story—his relationship falling apart after years of marriage—was something a lot of people can relate to. It really fit with what Carousel is all about.”

It was also precisely the kind of movie that directing partners Requa and Ficarra, who have previously only directed their own material, couldn't pass up.

Notes Ficarra, "We have a common ear for what we like, and there were issues in this story—mid-life crises, family dynamics—that really rang true and were very tempting to us.”

"I liked the way Dan examined how annoying love can be,” Requa says. "The script was just so impressive, and it's a character-based comedy, which is exactly what we like to do.”

Di Novi states, "Glenn and John have a style that we all felt would match perfectly with this project. They're really able to access the underlying emotion of a scene, even through the laughter. They bring a real sense of humanity to what they do.”

A team in the true essence of the word, the entire cast and crew came to find that the directing pair were so much on the same wavelength that they would complete each other's sentences, or offer up an idea half a second before the other did.

"We've been working together for something like 23 years, so we really do think alike at this point,” Ficarra admits.

In addition to having a cohesive vision, the team was able to double their efforts in other areas.

"As an actor, it was like having twice the support,” Carell underscores. "They created an incredibly imaginative environment in which we all had the freedom to try things with the understanding that if they didn't work, no harm no foul. But in the trying, there was a great chance for discovery, and they were both very encouraging on that front.”

"We had so many brilliant people in this cast,” Requa relates, "that it was really just about showing up and letting them do their thing.”


I don't know when you and I stopped being ‘us.' I mean, do you?


Maybe it's when you screwed

David Lindhagen.

After 25 years of marriage, Cal Weaver's wife, Emily, suddenly asks him for a divorce, revealing she's had an affair. For suburban insurance man Cal, who apparently hasn't paid much attention to his wife—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. The first stop on that path: drowning his sorrows in fruity cocktails sipped from tiny straws at a local bar, where he sticks out like the poor schlub he's become.

"Up until that very moment, Cal is happy and content in his marriage, so he is totally blindsided by Emily's declaration,” affirms Steve Carell. "It completely catches him off-guard, and he can't really think. He needs to reevaluate his entire life, and figure out what he's going to do. Is he just going to give up? Is he going to get back out there? I mean, this is a guy who's been married for many, many years.”

Cal gets help reinventing himself from an unexpected and, at first, unwelcome source, the very single, very self-assured Jacob Palmer, played by Ryan Gosling.

Unbeknownst to Cal, the dashing local playboy has been watching him bore the bartender with his sob story night after night.

After a while, Ficarra says, "Jacob refuses to continue to let Cal wallow in misery. But not because he feels sorry for him; mainly, he just doesn't want to have to watch.”

"Our first order of business was casting Jacob, because the Cal-Jacob relationship is pivotal to the film,” Di Novi says. "We didn't necessarily associate Ryan with comedy, but I think because the characters in this movie have so much depth and are so complicated and so rich, and because there are dramatic elements to the story as well, he thought he could really sink his teeth into it. And then, of


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