ROMANTIC COMEDY; 1hr 58min
STARRING: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone
Rescue mission: from left, Gosling and Carell
Tangled webs are thick on the ground in co-directors Glen Ficarra and John Requa’s sparkly gem. Cal (Carell) is ensnared when his wife, Emily (Moore), drops a divorce bombshell. “I don’t know why you and I stopped being us?” she says. “Do you?”
No, Cal doesn’t; and he also doesn’t know that his 17-year-old babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), has the hots for him, and that his 13-year-old son, Robbie (Jonah Bobo), is lusting after her. Then, uncool Cal finds a secret weapon in lounge lizard Jacob (Gosling), who gives him the makeover of a lifetime, and Jacob meets his match in live-wire Anna (Stone).
If you accept that a shallow dude like Jacob would give two straws for a schmo like Cal, it’s a cinch to swallow Cal’s evolution into a stylish Lothario and Jacob’s into Mr Nice Guy. Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a more serious turn for Carell, a more frivolous one for Gosling and a smart move for both: Dan Fogelman’s screenplay balance of straight and loopy is romantic serendipity and the closing scenes, in which the ludicrous and the poignant meet each other halfway, are a bittersweet rush.