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If Love Has You Lost, Just Go to a Bar: Crazy, Stupid, Love stays cute while managing to avoid clichés 

Working outside the romantic comedy formula, Crazy, Sexy, Love succeeds.

click to enlarge film_crazy_stupid_love_024.jpg
We, women, are the perfect combination of sexy and cute. Or at least that's what some of us want to hear. Of course, this is also the line that Steve Carell's character, Cal, uses to describe his wife, and then later to pick-up a one-night-stand in Crazy, Stupid, Love. This also might be the ideal description of this film: A cute tale about fighting for the one you love done with a dash of sexy. In this case, Ryan Gosling provides the sexy.

Cal, a loving husband and father, is blatantly told by his wife (Julianne Moore) that she wants a divorce. He then becomes depressed and finds himself at a single's bar where he meets Jacob (Gosling), a much more suave and attractive younger man who effortlessly takes women home. We then witness a makeover, a few painful attempts at picking up women and then back to where we began with Cal still in love with his wife. Intermixed is a love triangle between Cal's 14-year-old son, his son's 17-year-old babysitter and, what do you know, Cal himself. Oh yeah, and then there's Hannah (Emma Stone) who at the beginning of the film turns Jacob down in a bar to rush back to her boyfriend (Josh Groban). And like any other romantic comedy, we are thrown a unique surprise at the end that I actually didn't see coming. Snaps to the writers.

But the movie isn't exactly just another comedy about love and the struggle to find it. The acting is superb by both Carell and Gosling in a way I didn't expect, given that I consistently picture them as Michael Scott and the dude from The Notebook, respectively. Stone is, like always, hilarious, but I wish they had given her character more time to develop and more time with her love interest. And despite these performances, in the end it was the quirky one-liners and plot twists that made me chuckle throughout.

The movie has its cute parts and its come-on-not-this-again parts. It emphasizes the real trials and tribulations of love and how sometimes no one means to do any harm, it just happens. It was refreshing to finally see a movie in which everyone had their honest issues and wasn't consumed with ruining the lives around them. And who knows, maybe if we all tried a little harder to fight for whom we want, we could all live a happy life and become that perfect mixture of sexy and cute that is sure to melt the hearts of those we love.

Crazy, Stupid, Love
Starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore
Directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Rated PG-13

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