I had high hopes for this film - the trailer was super cute, Emma Stone continues her career high and Ryan Gosling gets naked (I'm there!). Ultimately the film fell a little short of my expectations but overall I thought it was still super cute - it just could have been much better.
Reasons to see it:
1. The acting - Ryan Gosling has been one of my favorite actors since The Believer. I love that he chose to try something different - like a romantic comedy (especially since most "serious" actors try to avoid the genre). I think he did a fantastic job - he created a very "real" ladies man character while avoiding all cliches (mostly due to the fact that it is totally believable that most women would go home with him) but he also had the daunting task of taking that character and realistically changing him into a man who falls head over heals in love with Emma Stone's character (who wouldn't fall in love with her?) Julianne Moore was also great at creating sympathy for her character that normally would be seen as a cheating shrew. I didn't hate her at all. Very impressive work from everyone.
2. The surprises - The one thing that I LOVED was the fact that it had 2 "big" revelations that were not anticipated. While, I would hate to give anything away - I just want to discuss one thing....***minor spoiler*** I really should have seen the biggest shock coming, and I am somewhat mad at myself for not putting 2 and 2 together. In the beginning of the film, I thought to myself how refreshing it was to see 2 non-traditionally beautiful women (i.e - not blond, not tan, not scary thin) as the center of the film. Then the film smacked me in the face with the explanation. Very well done.
Reasons to skip it:
1. The kids - I completely hated the whole kids plot. The 13 year old "in love" with his 17 year old babysitter was really over done. Who cares that the age difference won't matter in a few years...it matters now and right now it is gross. Even more disturbing was the 17 year old babysitter "in love" with this kids father. Sure, I know of girls who develop crushes on older men - but I hardly find it funny (I would call it dangerous). AND do we really need a film encouraging young girls to take naked photos of themselves?? Not cool.
2. The lack of comedy - Blame it on the trailer - there are no laugh out loud moments except the ones featured in the trailer. It was "cute" in its entirety but with such great comedic actors like Steve Carell and Emma Stone - I expect them to be fully utilized for their talents and they weren't. The film needed to move a little bit quicker, have some lighter comedic moments and add a touch of whimsy to be considered a "great" romantic comedy.