Crazy, Stupid, Love. is a comedy and something more. Cal (Steve Carrell) has lost his wife (Julianne Moore) to an affair with her co-worker (Kevin Bacon). Despondent, Cal goes out drinking several nights in a row and catches the eye of handsome high-end barroom lothario Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who will take home anything in a skirt. Feeling sympathy or empathy or something, Jacob begins coaching Cal in how to win back his manhood (including seducing a middle aged school teacher played to the hilarious hilt by Marisa Tomei). Cal’s odyssey is juxtaposed with two other lovelorn tales – the first being that of his son Robbie, smitten with babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton); the other being that of law school graduate Hannah (Emma Stone), who finds herself begrudgingly seduced by Cal’s new friend Jacob, resulting in a dilemma for the king of the one-night-stand. All of this could sound like a sitcom, and the climax genuinely surprises while simultaneously coming dangerously close to devolving into pure slapstick, but directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (writers of Bad Santa in their sophomore helming effort following last year’s I Love You, Phillip Morris) know how to keep an “out-there” comedy resolutely grounded in reality and they are aided by an earnest and delightful screenplay by Dan Fogelman. By the end, you feel like you’ve gotten to know and become invested in the lives of these characters – more than any sitcom.


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