Let's start out by putting all the cards on the table. This movie has Steve Carell possibly divorcing Julianne Moore and getting coached on wooing (or at least "sex-wrangling") by Ryan Gosling until he lands Marisa Tomei, all while his daughter Emma Stone deals with Josh Groban and an incredibly scene stealing friend (whose name I don't know), and his son (unknown) has a crush on his babysitter (unknown) who has a crush on Steve Carell.
Got all that?
The important things to know: Romantic Comedy with some Drama thrown in.
Steve Carell (comedic everyman) +
Julianne Moore (Drama - yes, capital "D") +
Ryan Gosling/Emma Stone (whoa, Nelly sexy - yet funny and kinda sweet) +
Marisa Tomei (romantic, comedic, dramatic, and - yeah - kinda nutso) +
a script that brings in the other characters =
A movie I should have paid money to see, but I'm really glad I at least saw via Netflix.
There is a plot in it, involving divorce and love and soulmates, but it's really kind of a "daily life" movie - assuming your daily life is always filled with all that stuff in the first real paragraph of this posting.
But the movie is just *so* good. You want to love and hate most of them all at the same time. You see yourself in them - or you want to see yourself in them - or you really hate that you see yourself in them - depending on which character and what part of the movie.
And there's this full-on apocalyptic melt-down that involves a mini-golf windmill which is just priceless. (And, yes, there's a scene that will make at least one of my Ryan Gosling-adoring friends very glad that we live in an age with DVD players with pause buttons...)
Overall score: A. It's probably an A+, but I would have liked to have seen Emma Stone's best friend more.