Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Rated 4.0

Packaged in a genre that traditionally plays it aggressively safe, it’s refreshing to see a film adventurous enough to color outside the lines. Opening in a candlelit restaurant where love is in the future and romance is playing out under the tables, we meet placid Cal (Steve Carell) having a hot potato dropped in his lap by wife Emily (Julianne Moore): she wants a divorce. And she’s slept with a co-worker. Burn. Enter house Lothario Jake (Ryan Gosling), who inexplicably puts his harem on hold in order to help Cal regain his mojo. Meanwhile, Cal’s young son has a crush on the babysitter, who in turn has a crush on … Well, yeah, it’s one of those movies, with a wheels-within-wheels narrative that draws its humor from having seemingly disparate characters cross each other’s paths until a pattern is set up to deliver the punch line. It takes skill to pull off that kind of narrative juggling, and here the filmmakers manage to keep all their balls in the air gracefully. Cinemark 14. Rated PG-13