Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) [PG-13] ****

Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is a conservative insurance sales executive in his mid-forties with a good job, a nice home, great kids and a wonderful wife Emily (Julianne Moore) with whom he fell in love at fifteen and married at seventeen. But when Emily reveals to Cal that she's had an affair with a co-worker (played by Kevin Bacon) and wants a divorce, Cal's seemingly perfect life begins to crumble around him. Cal finds himself spending evenings at the local bar, where he bores and depresses everyone with stories about his cheating wife until he meets a handsome, thirty-something player named Jacob (Ryan Gosling). With Jacob as a mentor, Cal rediscovers his manhood and learns to pick up women. Meanwhile, Cal's 13-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) has developed a crush on his much older babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). And, in a seemingly unrelated sub-plot, a young legal aide named Hannah (Emma Stone) is rejected by Richard (Josh Groban), an attorney at her firm, after which she rebounds right into the arms of... you guessed it... Jacob.

This ensemble romantic comedy-drama features a creative, well-written script by Dan Fogelman (Cars, Bolt, Tangled), sympathetic direction, tight editing, great production values, and excellent performances by leads Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore, as well as terrific supporting performances, especially by Jonah Bobo, Emma Stone, and Marisa Tomei as Kate Taffety, a middle school teacher who falls for Cal. The film's pacing is perfect, and the two hour running time does not feel overly long. If you enjoy modern, ensemble romantic comedy-drama, I predict that you will really enjoy Crazy, Stupid, Love. 

[Blogger's rating: **** out of 5 stars]

Labels: comedy, drama, romance 
Internet Movie Database
Metacritic 68/100 
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=69, viewers=76) 

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