Crazy, Stupid, Love. [2011]

Smart, Nancy-Meyers-with-an-edge romantic comedy is a huge step up from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s somewhat disappointing last film, I Love You Phillip Morris. Praise for this film is in order, though it doesn’t come without flaws. There are some minor pacing issues and it ultimately succumbs to the genre’s conventions (how many times have we seen the corny-speech-at-the-auditorium scene?)

There’s a great amount of sheer joy in this story, but also a great deal of pain. They’re adequately balanced and feel real. The best thing about the film, though, is its high-caliber cast, which includes prestige actors (Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Marisa Tomei), new comedic icons (Steve Carrell, Emma Stone) and up-and-coming talents (Jonah Bobo, Analeigh Tipton).