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Crazy Stupid Love

Year: 2011
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Glenn Ficarra/John Requa
Producer: Steve Carell/Denise Di Novi
Writer: Dan Fogelman
Cast: Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, John Carroll Lynch, Kevin Bacon

It's not a gritty relationships drama or a vapid rom com, but sits comfortably in between with some trailer-freidnly laughs and insights into relationships and people you don't usually see in comedies about love.

Steve Carell and Julianne Moore are Cal and Emily, a longtime couple who married young. When Emily drops the bombshell that she wants a divorce you straight away suspect it's Cal's wishy washy ways at fault when she's been dreaming for years of having him sweep her off her feet. Rather than argue or talk about their problem, he opens the door of a moving car and launches himself out.

Cal does the 'nice' thing and leaves to get his own cruddy apartment. When he comes across serial womaniser Jake (Gosling), the latter takes it upon himself to train Cal in the ways of seduction and make a man out of him by changing his wardrobe and getting him some action.

It's the only real off note of the film – there seems no reason why this young lothario would want to take on an older apprentice – but it provides for some laughs, especially when Cal hooks up with the middle aged teacher (Tomei) who turns into a wildcat when he gets her back to his place.

Meanwhile, we occasionally check in on Hannah (Stone), in denial about the nerd she thinks she's going to marry when she wants a strong man to romance and seduce her. When she meets Jake it seems like a rebellious fling for her and another conquest for him but he meets his match and the pair fall in love.

The reason all these stories are related comes together in a twist I didn't see coming and which gave the film most of its drama, lifting it above the usual fare and making for a satisfying and realistic conclusion despite the Hollywood trappings.

Subplots like Cal and Emily's son and his love for the babysitter orbit the main characters and give it a little more scope, and it's something we see too rarely – a stylish looking comedy but with a heart and soul.

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