Cal Weaver (by Steve Carell) met his sweetheart, Emily (by Julianne Moore) when they were both only 15 years old. They married two years later and have been together ever since. Lately, Emily has been feeling a bit “jaded”, she confesses to Cal that she’s had an affair and they are heartbroken as they face their imminent divorce. Cal leave’s the family home and sets up a home on his own. He is distraught at this new life and drowns his sorrows at a “hip” bar, where he encounters Jacob Palmer (by Ryan Gosling), a handsome “man about town” who advises him in the art of style and dating in today’s world. Presently he learns to pick up women and his social life starts to get a bit busier. He stills pines for Emily and wishes he could see his family so much more. Meanwhile, Emily is trying to move forward also. She is dealing with a love-struck teenage son, an affectionate work colleague and a group of friends who are supportive but silently judgemental. Suddenly, Jacob becomes hard to contact and Cal discovers that Jacob has succumbed to the very thing he has worked his whole life to avoid … he has fallen in love with Hannah (by Emma Stone). This might turn the entire world of Cal and Jacob on its head … will Cal ever find happiness again?
This movie is all that … crazy, stupid and … well .. yes … lovely. Even though it really is a straightforward rom com, it leaves the viewer with quite a warm feeling. The comedy has a very quirky edge which makes it very entertaining. Steve Carrell brings a “little boy lost” effect to Cal, which could have the potential for utter irritation, but is actually quite endearing. Ryan Gosling is unashamedly there for “eye candy” and he totally delivers. His ‘womanising” character is almost believable actually, but of course we do learn that he is a real guy when he starts to open up to his love interest Hannah. He and Carell make a great pair – their on screen partnership is effective. I would like to see more of that. Emma Stone is better here than other performances I’ve seen. There are great snippets – Marissa Tomei is very strong as one of Cal’s love interests. Kevin Bacon is also very good as Emily’s colleague, David. There is a good twist before the end, which I didn’t see coming.
They are all experienced and it shows. The timing of the comedy is great, it’s a smart and talented effort that only falters slightly at the end with some tedious comedy, but overall vey good and entertaining, well done.
Made in 2011. Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa