Complete A-Z list

Crazy, Stupid, Love.


Stars: Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, John Carroll Lynch

Director: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa

There's a lot of warmth in this look at love problems through the generations, mainly thanks to the performances of Carell and Moore as 40something marrieds Cal and Emily, who are dining out when she announces she wants a divorce and has been having an affair with a co-worker (Bacon) at the office.

Meanwhile, their 13-year-old son (Jonah Bobo) has a heavy crush on the 17-year-old babysitter (Analeigh Tipton) who in turn worships Cal.

Drowning his sorrows at a local bar, Cal finds himself taken in hand by barroom lothario Jacob (Gosling), who helps him buy a new wardrobe and chat up girls, his first conquest being the excitable Kate (Tomei).

Parallel to this is a strand about Hannah (Stone), an embryo lawyer who, rejected by her boyfriend (Josh Groban), remembers Jacob and his chat-up lines and jumps him at the bar: to his amazement, the ladies' man soon finds himself smitten. All Cal finds is that Kate is his son's teacher (had he never met her before?) and things get even more complicated after that.

Although the approach and treatment are a touch lazy, Carell's easy charm sees the film through. It's hard to imagine he could tackle this sort of role when he first entered the cinema scene in vaguely dislikeable, manic comedy roles. He now seems relaxed in his own star status. And Moore matches him, in more ways than one, with a subtly nuanced, glowing performance - one of her best.

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Fujicolor.
118 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 18 Sep 2011