Crazy, Stupid, Love12A ¦ DVD, Blu-ray
With three truly stinky films back to back (Get Smart, Date Night and Dinner for Schmucks), it seemed that Steve Carrell's decision to leave his day job at Dunder Mifflin may have been a bad one.
Luckily for him things changed when he signed up for this delightful film with a terrific ensemble cast.
Probably the worst thing about love, other than how tongue-tied it can leave you feeling, is not knowing when it ends. Cal Weaver (Carrell) is out having a meal with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore). The time has come for dessert, so he asks her what she wants. And although it's clearly not on the menu, Emily blurts out she wants a divorce.
So Cal moves out, leaving his wife and two kids behind. After spending a lot of his time in a bar feeling sorry for himself, he's noticed by Jacob (Ryan Gosling); he's a young walking GQ cover, with equally appealing conversational skills to match. It's amazing how Jacob manages to get in and out of the bar so easily with so many women falling at his feet.
Taking pity on Cal, Jacob decides to impart some of his womanly wisdom upon him, like a guy guru Yoda.
Meanwhile, Cal's teen son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is suffering from his own love problems. His young, thirteen year-old heart aches for his pretty babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton). Unfortunately for him, she's in love herself; although the path of true love for her isn't easy either as the subject of her affection is a married man – none other than Robbie's dad Cal. Not that Cal is aware of her feelings.
But love is an unpredictable beast that no-one can say they really control. One by one it rears up in all their lives and causes a completely unexpected impact on them all.
What this film cleverly manages to create is an unrequited love chain, with each character's story having a knock on affect emotionally on someone else. The cast also manage to make you empathise with each and every one of them at some point too. None of them have really done anything wrong and are clearly trying to do the best with the situation they find themselves in.
Although Carrell has already played variations on this character in a number of films (there's also some residue from playing Michael Scott in The Office for all those years too), it ultimately doesn't matter. He nails his performance as a middle aged man who truly feels the rug being pulled from under his feet.
He's also got the help of a talented cast, which includes a great role for Marisa Tomei, who all ably do their bit to ensure that this film is as entertaining as it could possibly be. So much so that after viewing it, don't be surprised if you suffer from an inexplicable facial ache, that you will suddenly realise was caused by grinning inanely throughout.
It's not often that films directed by two directors gel all that well, but as Glen Ficarra and John Requa proved with their previous film I Love You Phillip Morris - they work impressively well together in a team.
All in all, Crazy, Stupid, Love is the perfect date film for couples who, for whatever reason, just don't do dates anymore.