GENRE: Douche becomes him
THE PITCH: Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is down in the dumps after his wife of two decades Emily (Julianne Moore) shtups a co-worker (Kevin Bacon) and asks for a divorce. To cope, he binges on vodka cran at a swanky local bar where he meets eurotrash Casanova Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling), who promptly douches him up and sends him whoring to fill the void left by a loving wife.
LOVE ACTUALLY: Cal's 13-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is in love with his waifish 17-year-old babysitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton), who's inexplicably got the hots for Cal. Robbie spends the entire film proclaiming his love for her, in text messages and on scaffolding, despite the fact that it goes unrequited.
MONEY SHOTS: Like a Discovery Channel documentary on the world's sexiest man, complete with a tribal soundtrack, the camera tracks Jacob's moves in slo-mo through the mall. Cal's face meets Jacob's manly bits in an unintentionally intimate sauna moment. A dizzying bar montage shows the power of Jacob's mojo.
BEST LINE: "It coulda been cancer! Hey everyone, it's just a divorce!" exclaims Cal's boss at work as the cubicles resound with applause.
WORST LINE: "Cal, be better than the Gap," Jacob tells Cal during his marathon mall makeover.
BEST LINE TO SUM UP THE FILM: "What a cliché," remarks Cal, caught outside in a downpour after a disastrous parent-teacher conference.
FLESH FACTOR: Jacob brings the totally adorable Hannah (Emma Stone) back to the cavernous modern monolith he calls home. While in bed with his shirt off, the camera pans slowly and eternally over the curves of Gosling's toned torso. You'll be able to count individual hair follicles. Jessica takes naked photos of herself to send to Cal.
BOTTOM LINE: Early on in the film, Cal describes Emily as the "perfect combination of cute and sexy." This is no doubt what Crazy Stupid Love is striving for, "perfect combination of cute and sexy." But all we get is the same old mumbling, asexual Carell, a shining moment from Marissa Tomei as a wacky lay, and a belligerent 13-year-old who thinks he's got it all figured out (there's even an awkward graduation speech for moralizing about crazy, stupid love). As Cal said, "What a cliché."
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