Crazy, Stupid Love is the story of Cal (Steve Carrell) whose wife asks him for a divorce after cheating on him with a colleague. Cal then dips into the world of the Hollywood cliche: he has a midlife crisis – but the results are explored differently for once. Frequenting his local bar, Cal meets Jacob, a suave, sexy and desirable womanizer (Ryan Gosling) who coaches him Hitch-style, giving him a new wardrobe and new confidence with women.
In a network of sub-plots (definitely not reminiscent of He’s Just Not That Into You) the audience follows the trials and tribulations of relationships involving Cal’s wife, daughter, babysitter and son.
Gosling thrives in a comic role, after more serious turns this year in Drive and The Ides of March. Directors Ficarra and Requa play on his good looks and Hollywood style with irony, and Gosling is able to poke fun at himself in this role. Carrell is also brilliant, an actor whose comic career started late but seems set to continue. The ever-so-likeable Emma Stone is lovely too, bringing a touch of realism to the film – she’s an actress the audience can relate to and can really act, her turn in The Help was notable this year too, and her charm in undeniable in this film.
My favourite members of the cast though, were the children: Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo have great screen presence despite their youth and relative newcoming to acting, pitting their weights against Julianne Moore and Kevin Bacon (and stealing a few scenes in the process).
What I liked most about this film though, was the heart. Without verging on the soppy, this film has genuine emotion invested in it, and the results are comic and dramatic genius. This isn’t just your average rom-com. The genre has grown up.