Is it better to give than receive? Before you answer, the questionâ€™s not asking about sex or birthday gifts but relationship advice. Newly liberated Office-mate Steve Carell finds himself on both sides of that equation in our Smackdown between a couple of romantic dramedies, Crazy, Stupid, Love., opening this weekend, and 2007â€™s Dan in Real Life.
Crazy, Stupid, Love., with its period at the end that causes my auto-correct fits, is probably the most grammatically irritating film title since Precious: Based on the Novel â€˜Pushâ€™ by Sapphire. Carell portrays boring, straight-laced Cal Weaver, who gets dumped by his wife and taken in as a charity project by Ryan Goslingâ€™s barfly/man/god, Jacob Palmer. In Dan in Real Life, itâ€™s Carellâ€™s Dan Burns dispensing the advice in a newspaper column with the same name as the film, while trying to raise three daughters in various stages of meltdown after the death of their mom and Danâ€™s wife a few years earlier.
Two depressed guys, two lost wives, two sets of three quirky kids, and two comedies based on a Steve Carell characterâ€™s ability to roll with the romantic punches. So it comes down to Cal versus Dan, and it should come as no surprise that no matter whoâ€™s giving the advice, love makes a fool of them both. […]