Romantic liaisons

Crazy, Stupid, Love., by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the makers of I Love You Phillip Morris, begins rather cynically. Cal (Steve Carell), a boring and insipid insurance man who wears Gap and has a “Supercuts" haircut, gets to know that his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), has had an affair with her colleague (Kevin Bacon) and wants a divorce.

Male bonding: Steve Carell (left) and Ryan Gosling in the film.

Cal’s attempts to get a life, helped by his credit card and Jacob’s eagerness to tutor him to be a babe magnet, are often hilarious. Carell is not the raunchy-sweet-guy loser we’ve seen in the Judd Apatow comedies. In the second half, when he is disillusioned with quick love, his character takes on a different vein. Carell’s performance is charmingly convincing.

We also get glimpses of Jacob’s sad life—the gloss of his social life, supplemented by his inherited wealth. Gosling, a mercurial actor, brings out some nuances in an otherwise monotone character.

Subplot: Emma Stone.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. is not a romcom made with only women in mind. Nor is it a raunchy boys’ comedy—thankfully, despite the superficial male bonding. The cynicism inherent in the story, on which the first half of the film runs, is a slow but effective hook. But, ultimately, the lead performances are reason enough to watch this film, although even the smaller ones, like a teenage babysitter in love with Cal, get their due.

Crazy, Stupid, Love. released in theatres on Friday.