Apparently not. In fact, the release of Crazy, Stupid, Love. this Friday is just further proof that the actor chooses movies bloody well.
The film initially focuses on Cal (Steve Carrell), a husband of 25 years to Emily (Julianne Moore). As their quiet evening out reaches dessert, Emily tells Cal she wants a divorce rather than Creme Brulee. Naturally, Cal responds by jumping out of a moving car, leaving the house and hitting a swanky LA bar to drown his sorrows night after night. This is where the G Man comes in. Gosling’s Jacob is a sharp-suited lothario who beds as many women as he approaches (every woman, that is, except lawyer Hannah (Emma Stone)). Spotting a challenge in mopey Cal, Jacob waltzes over to the soon-to-be divorcee and offers to turn him into his protégée, transforming Cal into a confident stud.
Various sub-plots are weaved throughout the film’s 118 minute duration - including one that sees Cal's kid (Jonah Bobbo) fall for his baby-sitter (a brilliant Annaleigh Tipton, fresh from ANTM fame), who is infatuated with Cal - and top marks go to the ensemble cast who bounce off each other fantastically, creating numerous layers to an endearingly honest story which is both refreshing and hysterically funny.
Yes. We’re glad our favourite Ryan opted for a relationship comedy. It suits him. Sure, the rock-hard abs, and sexy cocktail-making-skills do the character no harm but it is Gosling who manages to create an irresistible, lovable rogue out of Jacob, despite the fact that he's clearly a bit of a d*ck. His touching relaltionship with Cal that captures our hearts as much as the bigger love stories.
He works wonderfully with Stone too. Relaxed and totally believable, they really are a lovely couple to watch and it’s a shame that it takes a while for us to see their characters pair up. That said, Ficarra and Requa pace the film excellently by switching plot and character-focus seamlessly throughout, building up to an eye-wateringly hilarious revelation that is sure to catch audiences off guard.
But Crazy, Stupid, Love hits a stumbling block following these slapstick scenes when it tries to straighten its tie and get serious. A moment involving a kid, his dad, a microphone and an audience of strangers listening to the pair’s take on love is not sentimental or heart-warming - it is pure, can’t-watch-the-screen cringe.
It’s easy to forgive convention traps like this though. Providing you ignore the title, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a smart and superior rom-com, featuring credible performances (aside from, perhaps, Marisa Tomei's squealing desperate woman), a brilliant script and a neat little twist. Not to mention a hell of a lot more laughs than have been offered in anything Steve Carrell has appeared in recently. And did we mention Ryan Gosling?
If you don’t fancy seeing something as fun or light-hearted as Crazy, Stupid, Love, then why not celebrate Ryan Gosling Week™ by going to see his other big Friday release, Drive. We’re obviously opting for both.