Love this movie! Have been looking forward to it for sooooo long since I saw that first preview. And I am happy to report that it totally lived up to expectations.
Cal (Steve Carell) is not the most interesting of men, and his wife (Julianne Moore) has understandably just announced she wants a divorce. Jacob (Ryan Gosling) is the epitome of a suave ladies man. Dresses the part, talks the part, and has a way with women that will sweep you off your feet (or movie seat ... as the case may be). Yum-my! Hannah (Emma Stone) is a girl who is not charmed by his easy smile and smooth lines. Throw in a 12 year old son who thinks he's in love (a la Love Actually), a baby-sitter with her own crush, a teacher looking for a fun night, and a few other odd characters and you have yourself a great film with some of the best on-screen chemistry seen in awhile.
After his marriage falls apart, Cal is sitting in a bar night after night, complaining and looking rather pathetic. Jacob takes pity on him and takes him under his wing, transforming this sad man into very much a ladies man. What happens from here is just funny funny funny and there is a great OMG moment where things shift! Honestly ... you will NOT see that coming ... but will laugh your ass off when it does!
Overall, I really loved this movie. Can I see it again please? The roles were cast to perfection - I don't even like Steve Carell and I thought he was perfect here. He really brought to life this character who is completely average and sad, down-and-out and sloppy. He is perfect in the role of that guy that you see and then immediately forget. Frumpy ... that's a good word for him. But he is great in that role! And Julianne Moore - when is she NOT good?!?!? Never. She is great as Cal's wife who still wants to live and be young and enjoy her life, but finds she can no longer achieve this with her husband of so many years. The story between these two characters is really moving and these two actors work so well together.
Then there is Gosling. Oh man. Honestly ... the man can wear a suit. That is exactly my kind of man. Stylish. Sexy. Charismatic. Please ... take me home tonight. But seriously (no seriously), he is great in that role. Gosling is one of those actors I kind of forgot for awhile there since The Notebook because he did really good movies that I saw but just didn't remember him in and that didn't really play up his sex appeal. But he has reminded America of that very thing here ... yes indeed. In the words of Emma Stone, "it's like your Photoshopped!" And Emma Stone is ... Emma Stone. Vivacious, intelligent, witty and charming in the way only she can be and that so many fell in love with in Easy A. And I love her and Gosling together, such opposing characters in many ways until they realize just what lies beneath the surface.
Spoiler Alert: Honestly, one of my favorite scenes in the whole movie is with Gosling and Stone are at his apartment on the rainy night. That was a beautiful scene that was very touching and heartfelt. They did a beautiful job of portraying two characters who bare their souls and open themselves up for true intimacy and love. It's not about sex, though it starts out that way. Sex is only physical intimacy. True intimacy goes so far beyond that ... as they show. Loved their scenes together ... they are so cute!
So there ... I loved the movie. It is a film that Hollywood often misses on ... a witty and smart romantic comedy. Harder to actually execute than you would think. It is touching and funny and just plain-old-fashioned good.
So ... who wants to go see it with me (again)?
Also ... a few other movies I have recently seen:
- Captain America - Pretty good, definitely made for 3D. Super excited that Stanley Tucci was in it as I love him! Honestly though ... it felt like a set-up for another movie in a lot of way ...
- Cedar Rapids - First movie in awhile I actually stop watching and didn't even bother finishing. So bad.
- The Company Men - This was a movie that really impressed me. I am actually surprised it didn't get better reviews and make more of a statement at the box office. It was smart and well written/acted. The ensemble cast was excellent. I thought it did a very nice job of showing what is happening in America and how the rich are living and what is happening to the folks in the middle. A sad story that is true for many Americans. Definitely made me reconsider any complaints I have about my job.
- Sucker Punch - I'm sorry, I just didn't get it.
- Bring It On - Thank you Netflix. This took me back ... oh high school.
- Lucky Seven - What can I say. 10am on a Saturday morning at the gym flipping through channels while dripping sweat. Lifetime Movie Channel ... who can resist a young Patrick Dempsey. It sure made that 2 hour run go by ...