“Crazy, Stupid, Absinthe, Love.”

by • August 15, 2011 • Hollywoodland, Me, MoviesComments (0)3036

Last night my good friend Lucie and I went to see Ryan Gosling‘s new film “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” and it was crazy, stupid, GOOD!  Like any normal person, every once in a while I need to satisfy my diet of sappy, Hollywood love stories, yet “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” seems anything but.  Not only was it an intelligent Hollywood comedy, but the performances were rock solid, and I burst out laughing more times than I could count.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a theater since my friends and I went to see “Bridesmaids,” and I would recommend anyone to run and see this film.  It centers on Steve Carrel’s portrayal of a husband who has lost his sense of who he is as a man, and soon we find out his wife (Julianne Moore) wants a divorce.  After the separation, Carrell bumps into Ryan Gosling, one of L.A.’s hottest bachelors (and I mean “hot” in a way that I would use only sparingly because Gosling is just about the finest piece of manmeat on the face of the Earth right now), who coaches Carrel out of his mid-life fire and helps him rediscover his mojo which he lost years ago somewhere along the way.  I won’t reveal anymore plot points, but suffice to say I give it an 8.5/10.  Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, and Marisa Tomei round out the impressive cast of “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” and you’d be crazy stupid to miss it while it’s still playing wide.

Afterwards we went to one of Montreal’s best-kept secrets, The Dominion Tavern, and shared a round of absinthe, one of the world’s most storied drinks, steeped in centuries of legend. I haven’t enjoyed a glass of absinthe since I was in Prague all the way back in 2000 (Absinthe achieved great popularity as an alcoholic drink in late 19th- and early 20th-century France, particularly among Parisian artists and writers. Owing in part to its association with bohemian culture, consumption of absinthe was opposed by social conservatives and prohibitionists. Charles Baudelaire, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Amedeo Modigliani, Vincent van Gogh, and Oscar Wilde were all known drinkers of absinthe.  Absinthe contains the chemical thujone which has strong psychoactive properties and is responsible for the countless stories, especially in the history of art, of its mind-expanding effects).

My first experience with absinthe in Prague consisted of a bartender leveling a teaspoon with sugar, saturating it with absinthe, setting it on fire, and stirring it up in a cold glass of fresh water to which you add as much ice (or more water) as you like.  At Dominion, as in any classy establishment, the more traditional serving method consists of a small amount of absinthe being served in a crystal reservoir glass, set underneath a silver tap apparatus which has a crystal reservoir above filled with ice cubes and water.  You each open your tap to let the water slowly drip, drip, drip over your piece of rock sugar sitting in a silver absinthe spoon which rests gently on your glass.  Gradually the water dissolves the sugar into the absinthe and turns it into a cloudy green color and the heavenly experience begins.  The storyline of the film combined with the absinthe kickstarted a magical conversation about the nature of love, soul mates, and — of course — the hotness that is Ryan Gosling.  My God, that man is a dream — and if you go see this film there is very likely a 100% chance you will agree with me. Someday, somewhere, I am determined to share a few glasses of absinthe with you in person Ryan, so I can confess my crazy, stupid love for you face-to-face.  We are soul mates after all.

To learn more about the history of absinthe and its current modern revival CLICK HERE.  And be sure to also check out the trailer below for the wonderfulness that is “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” (although I must say the trailer fails to capture the full depth of the film’s true magic).  You can find all sorts of Gosling Goodies at GoslingFan.com, RyanGoslingGan.com, and FuckYeahRyanGosling.tumblr.com. And be sure to visit the film’s website at CrazyStupidLove.WarnerBros.com.

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