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Movie review: 'Crazy, Stupid, Love,' 3 stars

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Crazy, Stupid, Love
3 stars
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone
Rated R

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” is one plot twist too long, and many of the jokes are distractingly similar to jokes in Judd Apatow movies. Still, this is one fun date movie.

Between Steve Carell’s humble shtick and Ryan Gosling’s abs, there are multiple reasons you won’t mind watching these characters for a couple of hours.

The story begins with the end of a marriage, as Cal (Carell) gets dumped by his wife of 25 years (Julianne Moore) after she cheats on him with a co-worker. When mild-mannered Cal heads to a bar to drown his sorrows, he meets Jacob (Gosling), a lady-killer who picks up women with one-liners that are somehow as charming as they are shameless. Cal becomes Jacob’s cause, and after a winning sequence of makeover scenes and flirting lessons, Cal is a new man — even though he’s still in love with his wife.

Carell awkwardly navigates the art of womanizing, from his one-night-stand with a batty woman to his implementation of the pepper-her-with-questions tactic. It all feels a little derivative, and yet it’s forgivable because Carell is so much fun to watch.

However, this is not just a movie about a man going through a mid-life crisis. This is about the dynamics of Cal’s stale marriage and the evolution of a lothario (Jacob) who meets The One (Emma Stone). The movie also concerns Cal’s 13-year-old son, who’s in love with his 17-year-old babysitter, who in turn is in love with Cal.

It’s easy to criticize “Love” for weaving in and out of too many characters’ lives — their emotions are always at arm’s length, even Cal's. That’s OK, though, because the actors make their characters so likeable.  The movie can be a little schmaltzy, but it’s hard to resist its charms.

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