Saturday, September 5, 2015


Directed By: Glen Ficara & John Requa 
Written By: Dan Fogelman 
Cinematography By: Andrew Dunn 
Editor: Lee Haxall 

Cast: Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, Emma Stone, Analeigh Tipton, Kevin Bacon, John Carroll Lynch, Beth Littleford, Josh Groban, Joey King, Jonah Bobo, Liza Lapira, Jenny Mollen, Mekia Cox, Dan Butler

Cal Weaver is in a mid-life rut and doesn't even realize it, until Emily Weaver née Boyle, his wife of twenty-five years, his high school sweetheart, and the only woman he's ever been with, asks him for a divorce. She still loves him but not what he's become. That rut has even led to her having an affair with her co-worker, David Lindhagen, who would like that relationship to be permanent. A young, handsome, well appointed, and seemingly wealthy young man named Jacob Palmer notices what a sad sack of a man Cal is because of his situation. Jacob, a Lothario of a man who can have his pick of women with who he only wants one-night stands, offers to help Cal get his manly mojo back to make Emily regret ever wanting to divorce him, and make him move on with his life. Although Cal accepts Jacob's help, the one part he may not really want is moving on from Emily. As Jacob helps Cal, Jacob himself may come to the realization that there is more to life than one-night stands, especially after he meets a young law student named Hannah, who is going through her own relationship issues. A happy romantic ending for both Cal and Jacob with their respective loves is hindered by some unknown information, including Cal's best friend's seventeen year old daughter, Jessica Riley, being secretly in love with him, while Cal's thirteen year old son, Robbie Weaver, is in turn in love with Jessica.

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2010 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year.

I like the film as it seems to be the closest we will ever get to a mature look at marriage and parenthood aimed at a mainstream audience. This film just concerted it to a form of romantic comedy ensemble. That is connected though doesn't become clear until the end.

The film has a surprising amount of drama than expected. Over the comedic elements though it still has a healthy dose of humor usually. It's outlandish yet takes on the real complexities of life.

The film feels like a season on a television show fit into one hour. As you have a desire to learn more about the characters and see them in more situations. As everyone in the cast plays their role so well. You really can see them as their characters. Even when they go over the top once in awhile. As revelations and misunderstandings galore pile up, the film feels quirky more then anything else.

Ryan Gosling in the film is really good. Though he is more a manic pixie dream girl as at first he is a ladies man who is successful and has money, yet we never know what he does for a living, not anything about his past. He is almost a cipher. Yet we do get to watch him change and be almost perfect for each character he comes across. Though luckily he is given charisma and a personality here. To make him a cool guy, personable. He is not what I thought he was going to be in the role. When first hearing about this film. I was looking for him and the film to be more goofy. I am thankful it is in the tone that it is. Really Josh Groban who plays stone's former fiancé is really no match for gosling even if he and Emma stone's character had stayed together. The filmmakers could have at least made it a fair fight. I mean you have Ryan Gosling's character who has an air of mystery and danger, who can be jerky at times but will always be brutally honest and has a fashion sense.

Then you have Josh Groban' character who Is a guy who is nice to everyone around you then after getting you alone would slap you around or be a chauvinist. And try to make you believe just like in his own mind you deserve the punishment as it is your fault.

You never find out what Jacob, Ryan Gosling’s Character, does for a job throughout the movie. You see he has an incredibly lavish lifestyle but you never know what he does. The reason he can afford all that he has is through his father. Jacob says in the movie, while talking to Emma Stone's character, "He was very successful, in business. He got a lot of money and that's why I could afford all this."

I can see why Emma Stone took the role she did. As she is more adored in This film than usual. It is an odd casting as at first she seems miscast as her looks don't seem to match the hunky looks of gosling and leaves you at a loss as to why he is so attracted to her. Though that adds to the film as he see's more than beauty and is just generally attracted to her. Which leaves her at first to question why, though gain a certain confidence especially after kind of being dumped. As the film his on her beauty becomes apparent. Even if at first they seem a mismatch.

Now I love Emma stone and she can be sexy, but at a certain point in the movie she says she is Rated R, sexy I understand the comment for the character, but she is more a geeky sexy like paired with a cute yet normal guy, then she is a hottie. With a handsome Ryan gosling type it's like she is out of her league. He seems more like a model dater. Hey I am only being fair many complained in the film KNOCKED UP that in reality Seth Rogen could never get a woman like Katherine Heigel, well I say the reverse is true here. it is just a screen fantasy for the women in the audience to give them a surrogate. Though in reality who knows why one person dates, falls in love or is attracted to one another. Sometimes looks are a factor sometimes not.

Through out the whole movie everything is known about all the characters except for Hannah. All we know about her us that she graduated from law school. It isn't until she goes to the anniversary party of the Steve Carrell's and Julianne Moore's characters that all is revealed about her.

Analeigh Tipton is a revelation as she is both beautiful and funny in her scenes that mostly find her neurotic and it's nice to see a film where a girl with her beauty who is a goddess to the son and can do no wrong. Is such a bundle of nerves when it comes to being noticed and impressing Steve Carell's character who would never think she would even be interested in him.

Interestingly enough when it comes to casting. Emma Stone is a mere three days older than Analeigh Tipton. However, her character Hannah (approx. 24-25 years) is almost ten years older than Tipton's Jessica (17 years)

Speaking of Steve Carell his performance here feels heartfelt. He usually excels in these roles as he seems more Like the Everyman type screen presence. His performance here reminds me of his performance in the film DAN IN REAL LIFE. Which he was really the best part of, This is probably the best performance Steve Carell had had. Though he is so throughly just a normal guy in this film. He barely registers, yet he still manages to be memorable.

Marisa Tomei is a welcome presence though would have love for her to play Julianne Moore's role. As we don't usually see her play wife's and mothers too often. Maybe it's because she has a inherent sexiness which is why here she plays a mature lover for Carell More his age appropriate. She is fun in her role, bringing energy to the film in a more comedic role. She can get the over the top, yet is convincing and needed as she manages to even make her outrageous scenes ring with a certain truth and bring the human side to her character.

One minor quibble I have with the film is that though this film is stuffed with story lines revolving around the family. Julianne Moore and Steve Carnell's daughter feels neglected as she is always in the background and barely acknowledged. Even as her character is exposed to harsh truths

The set-up for the third act is only that a set-up. As in movie logic it makes sense why the characters are mad at Carnell's character though really barely by their reasoning. I can understand him being upset about his daughter dating his lothario friend, but it seems far fetched. Especially then throwing them Out. Just as his wife has an affair then gets on the Moral high horse as he has slept around during their separation. In which he was made to move. And his son being mad at him because the son's crush his babysitter has a crush on him. You go with all of this as it makes sense in the movies logic. The reveal scene before the third act is hilarious and ridiculous. What I like about this film is that while unbelievable. It is both romantic yet cynical about love and all the entanglements. While still having a pure heart about it.

Though the film is Good. At times it feels too planned out and schematic rather than natural reality it seems to strive for.

I wish that the third act of the film wasn't spoiled in the trailers for the film. So I warn you to avoid them if you want to go in blind or at least be a little surprised as I suspect the filmmakers intended. By the end the films plays like typical romantic fantasy where everyone gets what they want somewhat.

Grade: B

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