The plot: “Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have the perfect life together living the American dream… until Emily asks for a divorce. Now Cal, Mr Husband, has to navigate the single scene with a little help from his professional bachelor friend Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Make that a lot of help…” – IMDB
My thoughts: I really, really enjoyed this movie. And no, not just because Ryan Gosling is a stone fox that I would like to…nevermind, you don’t need to know. You came here to read about movies, right?
Anyway, getting back to it, CSL was excellent. It was a perfect blend of comedy, character development, with just a touch of drama. I laughed, I swooned, and my eyes might have misted over at a few points. Fogelman did an incredible job at showing how love is felt so differently by everyone and yet it’s such a universal emotion.
The only thing I’ll nitpick about is that Steve Carell should really branch out a bit more. He played a somewhat 40-Year-Old Virgin again but fleshed out a bit and less hyperbolic (ugh, did I really just use the word “hyperbolic?” Film classes are rubbing off on me). That doesn’t mean he wasn’t likable or an enjoyable character to watch develop, I just felt like I’d seen him do it before.
My favorite parts were Ryan and Emma. I adore Emma. I think she’s so cute and relatable, though I do fear she’s turning into the raunchy!manic pixie dream girl, which is fine with me because I loathe and abhor Zooey Deschanel, the quintessential MPDG. Either way, she and Ryan had great chemistry (and how couldn’t you? That face! That bod! That charisma!) It was also lovely to see Ryan in a lighter role and kind of getting poked fun at in a way. Let me just say that there was a slow-mo shot of him eating pizza wearing a suit.
I expected the movie to be equally focused on each “couple” or perhaps even more so on Emma and Ryan’s characters, but in fact, the focus was on Carrel and Moore’s character. A bit surprising, but I enjoyed seeing that develop most. While about two decades ahead of me and age and at a place in life that I can’t even fathom, I liked their story. And while the movie did end on a happy note, it was a pleasant and realistic happy note. It wasn’t running into someone’s arms to grand music, it was simply optimistic.