It’s Crazy. It’s Stupid. It’s Love.

What could ever illustrate the stages of a relationship better than the movie, “Crazy Stupid love”? It is one of my favourite movies now and it sure brought out almost everything that we have learned in this week’s lecture, specifically the Knapp Model of Relational Development as well as communication in a relationship.

It often starts with an introduction, followed by small talks to long talks then to greater commitments, isn’t it? This movie talks just about the whole relationship process. However, unlike any other love stories, this started off with the two main characters in the terminating stage of their relationship. Cal Weaver (acted by Steve Carell), one of the main characters, found out that his wife had cheated on him and what’s worse was she had also requested for a separation. Being struck by the sudden news, he was beyond shocked and devastated. Unable to cope with his emotions, he resort to drowning his sorrows at a local pub everyday.Eventually, as the time past, the couple had minimum contact with each other.

But just when things couldn’t get any worst, Cal met a guy by the name, Jacob Palmer (acted by Ryan Gosling), a young ladies’ man whom he had met at the pub earlier. Surprisingly he offered to help Cal back up in the modern dating scene again. Cal, who had nothing to lose took the offer instantly and his life has changed ever since.

Just within a short period of time, he  corrected Cal’s image, ways of speaking and most importantly, with his esteem which leaves him irresistible to many. Jacob trained him to go through all the stages of love again, starting from flirting (initiating stage). However, among all these, there was a twist in the story as well. It was when Jacob was so close to convincing Cal that the dating scene was a much better life to live, he finds himself falling in love with a girl he thought he never would, Hannah. And it was apparent that this relationship was not like the others, they had real emotions involved and hence, both of them slowly developed a  relationship with one another.

If you were take a look at this video, a short clip taken from the show, you will be able to see the stages of how their relationship blossomed. Similarly, it relates to the Knapp Model of Relational Development process too. They started from the initiating stage right straight to the integrating stage where they started labeling themselves as one.

To sum it all up, I thought the movie had presented the stages very well, starting from beginning, the terminating stage to the healing stage and then back to the coming together stages. In addition, they have also conveyed how communication can be such a crucial essence in every relationship.


20 thoughts on “It’s Crazy. It’s Stupid. It’s Love.

  1. Nana says:

    Totally agree that having good and effective communication helps to build up relationships as it helps to prevent unnecessary misunderstandings, and not lead to nasty arguments and fights later on. Nice point to drive using a movie 😉

    • jacqchin says:

      Thank you for your comment. Yeah right, communication is definitely one of the most important aspect of our lives; not only in our relationship but in almost everything we do. :)In fact without communication, there’s no life. Therefore, it is important that we learn how to communicate effectively to reduce the chances of misunderstanding when interacting.

  2. Zhong yi says:

    I’ve watched this movie too! Great movie! One would look back on his/her love life while watching this..( in a good way of course! ) 🙂

  3. diannetan says:

    I LOVE THIS SHOW! Especially the scene when Jacob lifted Hannah up and turned her. OHOHOH, did I mentioned those 6 pacs! :0 RYAN GOSLING,HOTHOTHOT!

    Okay, shall not digress further. I agree with you that Knapp Model of Relational Development illustrates the stages of personal interaction in our real lives and it is evident even our own lives now if we have another significant partner.

    • jacqchin says:

      Thank you for your comment. It is true isn’t it? Its funny yet amazing how our relationship with our individual partners may differ but they all go through the same stages (knapp’s model). Anyway, I love Ryan Gosling too! He’s too hot to handle! hahah

  4. syiq says:

    hey!!! sadly i haven’t watched the movie but your post is certainly a prime example of how the knapp model of relational development doesn’t have to be linear all the time. in fact, i think that the fact that relationships don’t all start at the initiating phase makes them rather exciting as you don’t know what’s coming after a certain stage.

    • jacqchin says:

      You have to, woman! It is a really nice show. Anyway, its true that the relational development does not always have to be linear, but isn’t it still amazing to know that at some part of your relationship, you will still go through all the stages of the Knapps model? Thanks for commenting by the way! 🙂

  5. xepthrichros says:

    Hi Chen Zhen, this is an interesting movie… did it remind you of Kiki? Lol kidding. Anyway, I think this movie does illustrate Knapp’s model of relational development, and it seems to be presented differently too. Perhaps I might watch it some day.

    • jacqchin says:

      Thank you for your comment, liu ye! Do you really have to relate most of the comments to our project? hahah Anyway, yeap, it is applicable to kiki’s love story as well. As seen in the movie, she too, started her relationship with chen zhen by first knowing each other as friends (initiating stage). And yes, digressing back, you should watch the show some day. It is a really good movie! 🙂

  6. Ashley says:

    I just wiki-ed the Knapp’s Relational Development Model and i wished all 10 steps were briefly stated here for people who haven’t catch the movie (Me, me!). Some time ago, my boyfriend showed me a short video on youtube (Title: Stranger’s Again- which portrayed the various stages of a relationship really well because it was easy to understand and it was a short 16 minute + video, to learn about all that! And you’re darn right about what type of media best illustrates the Knapp Model because thoery is always boring and facial expressions and body languages are crucial factors in portraying emotions as seen in motion pictures (films/videos).


    • jacqchin says:

      Thank you for your comment. Hhaha, yes you got that right! The youtube video which you have watched, talks just about the Knapp’s model and its stages. & definitely all these stages can be portrayed as well through their individual emotions.Anyway, I hope you have benefited from my post 🙂

  7. Gdine Chin says:

    This article made me curious about what ‘Knapp’s Relational Development Model’ is all about, so I went to search for it and found it at I shall write it down here too so people can see what the 10 stages are!

    1. Initial Stage
    2. Experimentation
    3. Intensify
    4. Integration
    5. Bonding
    6. Differentiating
    7. Circumscribing
    8. Stagnation
    9. Avoidance
    10. Termination

    In a way, I think it’s interesting to know that such a model exist about relationships, it is quite sad to see that the final stage is termination. However I feel that this movie ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ has also showed that this Model could be a cycle and it does not end with the last stage: termination. Because the main character was already at the ‘termination’ (divorce) stage, yet in the end, they went back together which kind of is like ‘starting anew’.

    Or maybe, just maybe, there should be another stage (of hope): Reconciliation!

    • jacqchin says:

      Thank you for your comment. haha, good job on your research! That is indeed the Knapp’s Relational Development Model. I never knew that such model existed before learning it through class too. & yes, like you have mentioned, the development of the relationship need not be linear all the time. Sometimes, it may differ just like what you have seen in the show 🙂 I guess, its all up to individual and their communication between each other. 🙂 Thanks for your input, once again!

  8. beatricehua says:

    Hi Jacq! i agree with you that it’s really important to communicate effectively in any relationship! So glad that they managed to develop a relationship 🙂 sounds like a great movie to catch!

    • jacqchin says:

      Yes Beatrice! If you haven’t watched the show, you should! It is really quite interesting. It has somehow taught me a thing or two about being in a relationship and how I should manage it better through the different means of communicating. Anyway, thanks for your comments.

  9. Melissa says:

    While most movies portraying relationships follow Knapp’s model to a certain extent, I feel that some movies really push the limit, AKA “insta-love”. I understand that there’s the time constraint, since most movies are two hours or shorter, but surely, there must always be the “initial and experimentation” stages in any relationship. Movies that show their leads falling in love at first sight have got it all messed up. 🙂

  10. purelyxc says:

    HELLO CHEN ZHEN!:) xavier in the hhouseee!

    Waaaaa, you copycat, I posted about this first please..

    Anyway! i feel that it does indeed represent Knapp’s Model, but his model is not adequate enough to bring out all the situations in the story. I feel his model lacks some important parts of relationship dissolution such as external factors etc. But nonetheless, his model is greatly represented throughout this movie and true love persists in the end!

  11. Sorry, wanted to comment on some other post, but this one caught my eye. Im still reeling from what was said in the trailer, ” She’s your soulmate. Go after her, what are you waiting for?” as well as ,” I should have fought for you.”

    Such strong powerful words that can make anything better. Communication is key all the time in relationships. It takes a simple thing as the LACK of communication for everything to falter and fall. And on the flip side, all it takes are simple words like these to change everything and bring things back together.

  12. zaffy says:

    wow everyone’s writing about crazy, stupid love for knapp’s, but it just shows just how relevant it is huh? it’s a great movie btw! it has such a tangled ending which added to the laughs. but i’m glad it has a happy ending – everyone got together with their significant other. well… except for robbie :p

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