Opens: Friday 7/29
Us Rating: **1/2
Several interwoven stories cross in this mildly funny ensemble comedy. Longtime couple Cal (Steve Carell) and Emily (Julianne Moore) split up when she blurts out on date night that she wants a divorce. The next day, Cal meets man-whore Jacob (Ryan Gosling), who schools the older guy in picking up chicks, despite recently striking out with law student Hannah (Emma Stone). As the dumped and rudderless dad, Carell charms in his sad-sack way, but he doesn't generate much connection with Moore (whose character isn't given enough depth). And the many cheesy, humorless singles'-bar scenes seem stilted. On the plus side, the younger couple feel more engaging. A ripped Gosling scores high marks for his smartly dressed but lonely bachelor, who ends up learning love lessons from Cal. And as the girl who finally gets Jacob interested in monogamy, the warm, appealing Stone playfully heats up their love scenes. But overall, it's a little too much stupid humor -- such as a slapstick climactic bare-knuckle fight -- and not enough crazy laughter.