Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) have been married for twenty-something years and during “date night” Emily confesses that she wants a divorce. She also admits to the fact that she has had an affair with her co-worker, David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon). Cal is so stunned he barely says a word and seems to have absolutely no reaction to the news (besides jumping out of a moving vehicle). Ultimately, Cal really does not put up much of a fight and he tells Emily that he will sign whatever she wants and will move out as long as she stops talking about her affair.
Although Cal does not say much to Emily, he is completely devastated by his divorce. On top of everything else his best guy friend, Bernie (John Carroll Lynch), also broke up with him. Bernie’s wife is close friends with Emily and she told Bernie he could not be friends with Cal anymore. So, a depressed and miserable Cal starts drinking alone at this hot spot bar. Night after night he watches Jacob (Ryan Gosling), a young well-dressed cassanova, pick up random women and leave with them at the end of the night.
One night, Jacob actually notices Cal. He sees how dejected Cal is and Jacob is so horrified by Cal’s wardrobe that he offers to teach Cal everything he knows about picking up women. Although somewhat reluctant Cal agrees to this bizarre arrangement. And after a makeover and some “Miyagi-ing” Cal manages to become quite the ladies man, but the fun does not last. He still misses Emily.
There are also a few side stories going on throughout the movie. Cal’s son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) is madly in love with his babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) and he is not afraid to tell her about it, which makes her horribly uncomfortable. At the same time though, Jessica thinks she is in love with Robbie’s Dad, Cal. And even the egomaniac/chauvinistic Jacob becomes enamoured with Hanna (Emma Stone) who seems to be the first girl to ever reject his cheesy and obvious come-ons. As it turns out, Hanna has a boyfriend and she is studying for the bar exam. Her boyfriend makes her a promise that if she passes the bar she can expect a big night and in her mind she thinks that a proposal is in her future. However, her best friend Liz (Liza Lapira) is not crazy about her being engaged to Richard (Josh Groban). She thinks Hanna lives a PG-13 life and she could do better than her current situation.
This film basically examines how life often gets in the way of love and vice versa. It also provides multiple perspectives on love at various stages in life (you get the married couple perspective, the single guy and gal, and finally you get teen heartbreak). What this film shows is at the end of the day and no matter how old you are love is intense, complicated, and amazing. The performances in this movie are great. Personally, I wish Marisa TomeiÂ had a few more scenes. There are some pretty funny moments and my eyes even started to well up with tears during one scene. I really enjoyed this film and most everyone I have talked to has had positive things to say about it. The only critique I have (which is not so much a critique but more of an observation) is that pretty much every scene from the trailer is in the movie. It did not really bother me so much, but a few people commented on it and it appeared to bother them. Regardless it is still a good movie. Take a friend or a significant other and enjoy!