Comedy favourite Steve Carell returns to the big screen, this time as the happily married Cal whose life falls apart when his wife (Moore) announces that she wants a divorce. Feeling sorry for the desolate schmuck, Ryan Gosling’s womanising character, Jacob, takes him under his wing.
There are a number of potentially poignant moments between Carell and Moore which are left awkwardly abandoned in favour of glib scenes. It's never made clear why their relationship broke down so irrevocably that Moore demanded a divorce. Instead of working at their marriage, for each other and their children, it's as disposable as yesterday's Hershey bar wrapper.
Subplots and characters are added right throughout, neither being fully developed; Oscar winner Marisa Tomei takes on the unusual role of an unhinged, reformed alcoholic with plenty of fiery scenes but not enough back story, underage babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) falls for Cal with what could be disturbing results and as a result of the mixed up adult behaviour, the kids are affected yet what would ordinarily be serious problems only seems to provide further entertainment.
Gosling, despite playing the most atypical, calculating womaniser around, defies his fellow monogamists by revealing his soft underbelly when he meets 'The One'. Although he does hint that he wasn't always such a schmoozer - again something that writer Dan Fogelman and/ or directors Ficarra and Requa fail to explain.
You'd want to get up pretty early to catch Carell and Moore off-form and as per usual they do their best with the material. It's hard to look at Carell without laughing, it's not what he does but the way that he does it and Moore's unique mix of sincerity and comedic timing focuses her scenes.
The plot is cliché laden but there’s just enough humour mixed with decent performances from the likable leads to make this Crazy Stupid Love story an entertaining watch.