Directing duo Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who brought us the uniquely funny I Love You Philip Morris give us something more conventionally-comedic here. That is not to say it’s not funny. What it lacks in innovation it makes up for in big belly laughs. And for that we must, essentially, thank its writer Dan Fogleman, who made his name scripting the likes of Bolt, Tangled and Cars for Disney and Pixar.
Crazy, Stupid, Love sees Cal (Steve Carrell) separating from his wife then forming odd couple with ladies’ man Jacob (Ryan Gosling) to learn how to be… surprise, surprise… a ladies’ man. The not-unattractive Gosling, donning a series of killer suits makes the slickly super-cool look effortless. Here he is every inch the movie star. Along with Drive and the Clooney-directed The Ides of March (also starring Gorgeous George) soon to hit our screens it looks like 2011 will be the year Gosling goes stratospheric. The perfect foil for Mr Smooth is Steve Carrell. While hilariously hapless, Carrell is capable of real tenderness when required. It’s a reminder of his genuine acting chops. There’s a wealth of talent on display: the esteemed likes of Marisa Tomei and Julianne Moore are in the film, as is the eternally-underrated Kevin Bacon. At the younger end of the spectrum, Emma Stone again proves herself eminently watchable and there are good roles for youngsters Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo, each nursing painfully-unrequited crushes.
It does cheese out in the third act and, running at 118 minutes, it’s sad it didn’t end half an hour sooner, but it’s gleefully un-thought-provoking stuff. Guaranteed to put a smile on the most serious of faces.