There's plenty of love and craziness involved in Crazy, Stupid, Love, the latest from directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You, Phillip Morris). And, thankfully, there's also not much that's stupid, even though it awkwardly flirts with cliches in the last scene. Despite its plain set-up (ladies man helps divorced man get his mojo back), Crazy, Stupid, Love rises above the increasingly awful pack of romantic comedies hitting theaters by assembling a fantastic cast (led by Steve Carrell and Ryan Gosling). The script itself, while avoiding the obnoxious characters or plotting tedium so many other rom-coms, is not brilliant, or filled with non-stop laughs.
It is, however, filled with sincere charm, and enough funny moments thanks to the excellent ensemble (rounded out by Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Kevin Bacon, and Marisa Tomei's perfectly timed laughs). Carrell finally gets to play a role that uses his likability, without resorting to any Michael Scott-isms, and Gosling exudes sexiness in spades, all while pulling off his character's snarky side with ease. The trio of women, each wildly different, all have their moments to shine as well, though it's a shame that Moore isn't given much to do comedy-wise aside from her excellent delivery on that Twlight joke. And even though it's a bit long for a romantic comedy, it doesn't feel nearly as drawn out as, say, a Judd Apatow comedy (*whew*). If it does need some trimming though, it's in a subplot involving Carrell and Moore's son (Jonah Bobo) and his crush on his babysitter (Analeigh Tipton). The adult relationships are handled so well, that inclusion of this plot thread feels like an extra. It's not that it isn't funny, it's just that it detracts from the stronger portions of the film, which are what make the movie such a pleasure to watch (including, but not limited to, Ryan Gosling's near-nudity in several scenes).