Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who wrote Bad Santa and directed I Love You Phillip Morris, betray their trademark discomforting humor with this big-screen sitcom, in which a nerdy accountant (Steve Carell) gets dating advice from a slick womanizer (Ryan Gosling, enjoying a role that might once have gone to Peter Lawford). As in the directors' earlier work, the humor is rooted in humiliation, but the execution here is tepid and indecisive, possibly because the big-name stars need to seem charming no matter how loathsome or idiotic their behavior. The episodic plot encompasses a series of familiar gags about casual sex and finding your soul mate, few of them delivered with much enthusiasm. With Emma Stone and Julianne Moore.
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