The first feature film in which Jonah Bobo appeared, the independent comedy "The Best Thief in the World" (2004), was released before his seventh birthday. Since then Bobo has worked with some of Holl...
The ensemble dramedy Crazy Stupid Love. has the makings of greatness. Its cast brims with nimble and likable actors including Steve Carrell Julianne Moore Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and its screenplay written by Dan Fogelman (Cars Tangled) is replete with moments alternately touching funny clever and heartbreaking. So why then is the end product ultimately so unsatisfying? Perhaps it’s because the film as constructed by directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa is a mess a jumble of disparate plot elements and shifting tones its whole significantly less than the sum of its parts.
Crazy Stupid Love. begins with a breakup: Emily (Moore) after 25 years of marriage to Cal (Carrell) declares to him in a busy restaurant that she wants a divorce then subsequently admits to an affair. As Cal and Emily grapple with love’s demise their thirteen-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is feeling its first stirrings having developed a formidable crush on the family’s seventeen-year-old babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). (He remains undeterred even after she walks in on him doing well what thirteen-year-old boys do.) Alas Robbie’s feelings appear doomed to remain unrequited as the girl only has eyes for Cal. The implications of her crush to which Cal is entirely oblivious (this isn’t American Beauty 2) aren’t made clear until much later.
Indeed the implications of much of what happens in Crazy Stupid Love. aren’t made clear until much later. The film meanders about – without clear aim or purpose – for a good portion of its running time drifting back and forth between Cal’s story and those of its supporting players as Ficarra and Requa seem more intent on laying the groundwork for a Stunning Third-Act Twist than crafting a coherent and compelling narrative.
Devastated by his wife’s revelations Cal sulks nightly at a swanky uptown bar where he earns the sympathy of its resident player Jacob (Gosling). A sharp-dressed blunt-spoken dilettante he takes on the gloomy pathologically uncool 44-year-old as a kind of apprentice upgrading his wardrobe and schooling him on his pick-up strategy which involves not so much seducing women as overwhelming them. The efforts soon pay off when Cal beds a daffy middle-school teacher (Marisa Tomei) followed by a bevy of anonymous bar babes.
But just as Cal enjoys promiscuity’s first fruits he finds himself pining for Emma whom he still loves and who has clearly come to regret her dalliance. Crazy Stupid Love. wants us to believe the two are soulmates destined to be reunited but nothing about their scenes together suggests this to be true. The best the film can offer are wistful tales from the couples’ days as high-school sweethearts – surely not the stuff of which successful marriages are made. The most telling statement on their relationship is made in the opening sequence when Cal would rather leap from a moving vehicle than listen to his wife talk.
More credible is the unexpected bond Jacob forms with Hannah (Stone) a canny law-school graduate first seen flatly rejecting him (she’s the only woman in the film to do so) earlier in the film. After her attorney boyfriend (Josh Groban) proves a bust she runs (literally) into his arms and shortly thereafter to his posh bachelor pad. But what starts out as a one-night-stand turns into an all-night conversation. Hannah first presses him to reveal the steps of his seduction routine then to catalog his list of late-night Sharper Image purchases. When he complies it feels like a requiem. Can a scrofulous cad really be redeemed over the course of one evening? He can if he’s Ryan Gosling – and if his redeemer is Emma Stone.
The charm of that scene is nearly enough to redeem Crazy Stupid Love. Then comes the Big Twist the point of which is debatable the absurdity of which is not. Afterward the film which has heretofore alternated between sharp insight and sentimental contrivance opts exclusively for the latter. The only thing missing from its sap-soaked climax is a slow-clap.
Based on the children’s book by Jumanji author Chris Van Allsburg Zathura shows what happens when 6-year-old Danny (Jonah Bobo) starts playing an old tattered metal game he finds in his divorced dad’s wooden house. Danny’s 10 year-old brother Walter (Josh Hutcherson) doesn’t want to have anything to do with the stupid game--or his annoying little brother for that matter. But Walter is forced to take notice when to his horror their house is pummeled by meteors after being propelled into deepest darkest outer space. See while Jumanji game is all about jungle perils Zathura’s game is set in space in which equally dangerous obstacles are at hand. The more they play the worse things get. The only way to get back to Earth is to finish the game--at whatever cost. Sound familiar? Newcomers Bobo and Hutcherson are convincing as kids caught in divorce. Little Danny doesn’t quite understand what it all means but Walter is all too aware--and he blames Danny for their parents’ split. Hutcherson does a fine job conveying the emotions tied up in such family turmoil and Bobo--albeit a tad cutesy and screechy--follows suit. As the boys’ older sister Kristen Stewart (Panic Room) is the typical surly teenager saddled with babysitting her pesky brothers while dad is out. She ignores them mostly--until she realizes the house is surrounded by carnivorous lizard-like creatures called Zorgons. That gets her attention. As far as the adults go Dax Shepard (Without a Paddle) is an astronaut the boys pick up along the way who holds a key to the plot while Tim Robbins makes a nice little cameo as the beleaguered father. Actor/director Jon Favreau who gave us the delightful Elf is still toying with his inner child with Zathura. Obviously with the special effects and what not this is his biggest undertaking so far. But Favreau manages to bring things er down to earth as it were. He easily taps into all those boyhood memories of playing space cowboys and flying rocket ships--as well as expertly guiding his young cast. The problem with Zathura is it is too much like its predecessor Jumanji but without talents such as Robin Williams and Bonnie Hunt to back it up. Of course if you’ve never seen Jumanji Zathura will seem like a fun ride for the whole family. But if you have you may come to the conclusion the original already set the bar.
Worked with Michael Caine and Christopher Walken in "Around the Bend"
Began voice work on "The Backyardigans"
Starring role in "Zathura: A Space Adventure"
Appeared in "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
First feature film role, "The Best Thief in the World"
The first feature film in which Jonah Bobo appeared, the independent comedy "The Best Thief in the World" (2004), was released before his seventh birthday. Since then Bobo has worked with some of Hollywood's top actors and actresses in film including Christopher Walken, Ryan Gosling, and Julianne Moore. For several years he provided the voice of Austin on "The Backyardigans" (Treehouse TV, Nick Jr., 2004-2010 ), and in addition to his work in television and film, he has played with the band The Bonnie Situation.<p>Raised by Jewish Orthodox parents, Bobo started in show business as a voice actor on the animated show "The Backyardigans" in 2004. It proved to be a banner year for him professionally; he also worked with Christopher Walken and Michael Caine in "Around the Bend," and landed a small part in "The Best Thief in the World." A year later he starred in "Zathura: A Space Adventure" (2005), but the film failed at the box office despite praise from critics. </p><p>Bobo went on to appear in small roles in numerous other films, most notably "Crazy, Stupid, Love" (2011) with Steve Carell and Julianne Moore. For the past several years, he has also been the lead vocalist and guitarist in the band The Bonnie Situation, and has expressed an interest in moving away from acting and toward music as a career. In 2012, he appeared in the film "Disconnect" which also starred Jason Bateman. </p>
Family is Orthodox Jewish.
Lost seven baby teeth in the making of "Zathura: A Space Adventure" and had to wear a false set.
"I'd like to be a musician more than I'd like to act." - from Fox News Entertainment, July 18, 2011