Steve Carell brings that endearing quirkiness we first saw in Little Miss Sunshine to the fore once again. Sure, he may be getting typecast as a lovable loser going through a mid-life crisis (a-la 40-Year-Old Virgin), but this empathetic endeavour maintains its appeal for now.
This feel-good rom-com reinforces the institution of true love, if not marriage, and one of the best parts is where all the characters come together for the first time; their genuine surprise mirrors that of the audience.
The standout scene for me is when Emily (Julianne Moore) calls Cal (Steve Carell) ostensibly having a problem with the heater, but she calls only to hear his voice as a source of comfort; what she doesn't realise is that he's in her backyard secretly doing some gardening. Awww.
All in all, a heartwarming if cliched movie holds its own with its formidable cast; Carell alludes to this when it rains during his most depressing moment: "What a cliche," he deadpans. Definitely one ti bring your better half to, if only to appreciate him/her all the more for who they are.
PS: Doesn't Emma Stone look like the 50-ft woman from Monsters vs Aliens?!