Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on November 2011
It’s the rare romantic comedy that I’ll recommend, formulaic nonsense that most are. But I left the theater after this one (actually a romantic dramedy) feeling well and fully entertained. This is actually several rom-coms woven together into an intricate, multigenerational love story, but the focus is on Cal (Steve Carell), whose wife of 25 years (Julianne Moore) has just asked for a divorce. While trying (fumblingly) to get back into the “singles scene,” he comes under the questionable wing of upscale lounge lizard Ryan Gosling, goes through the required metrosexual makeover montage and finds his mojo. His newfound success with women makes Gosling realize that his own life is empty, and he, too, soon finds himself smitten. The great cast includes a nymphomaniacal Marisa Tomei, a superbly smarmy Kevin Bacon, and Emma Stone, who has the funniest software-related one-liner in the movie. Newcomers Analeigh Tipton and Jonah Bobo add a hilarious subplot about a 13-year-old with a crush on his sitter, who is in turn infatuated with the oblivious Carell, and, well, you’ll see. Plenty of surprises, lots of laughs (titters, yuks, and guffaws), effortlessly sexy, highly satisfying and even moving.