DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: July 29, 2011
Rating: PG-13 (for coarse humor, sexual content and language)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Run Time: 118 min.
Directors: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Actors: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Analeigh Tipton, Jonah Bobo, Joey King, Marisa Tomei, Kevin Bacon, Beth Littleford, John Carroll Lynch, Josh Groban

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review contains discussion of mature subject matter. Parents, please be advised before allowing children to read.

In case you haven’t noticed, the state of modern romance has been getting quite a makeover at a theater near you.

Sure, like the perfect pair of jeans, love stories that pack a big comedic punch will never go out of style. After all, as long as there are couples, date movies are a must. But from time to time, even these universal crowd-pleasers need a few nips and tucks, and that’s precisely what’s happened in the romantic comedy genre lately.

If anything, screenwriters are happily rallying against the requisite meet-cutes and boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl-over-with-a-catchy-pop-song-playing-in-the-background formula, whether it’s the sex without commitment bent of films like No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits, the could-the-grass-be-greener-on-the-free-love-highway debate in Hall Pass or the bawdier spin on the traditional wedding movie with box office behemoth Bridesmaids.

And given modern moviemakers’ propensity for remakes, reboots, and perpetual sequel-itis, a big-old dose of creativity is certainly welcome. But while they get a few points for trying, many of these “new” rom-coms have routinely traded class for crass. Instead of focusing on what makes a compelling love story, it’s been more about who can dream up the most outrageous gross-out gag. Or the dirty joke that’ll surely make the masses blush.

Thankfully, as summer movie season is winding down, Crazy Stupid Love is mostly an exception from what’s become the new normal. Armed with plenty of heart and humor, not to mention fantastic performances from the leads, especially Ryan Gosling (All Good Things) who seamlessly segues from serious actor to seriously funny actor and Steve Carell (Dinner For Schmucks) who dials back his endearing doofus shtick to reveal his dramatic prowess, Crazy Stupid Love ultimately examines why lasting love—not merely bed-hopping—is worth fighting for.