Intelligent and sophisticated adult-oriented romantic comedies that don’t resort to gross-out humour are almost as scarce as Ryan Reynolds films in which the Canadian actor keeps his clothes on.

So Crazy, Stupid, Love is a rare treat, boasting pithy dialogue and exemplary performances from an ensemble cast, who explore the many winding paths to true love.

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s follow-up to I Love You Phillip Morris is hilarious, heartwarming and bittersweet, chronicling the ripple effect of impending divorce on different members of a family.

The script by Dan Fogelman is delightfully self-aware and pokes fun at convention and the good-looking cast.

When Ryan Gosling removes his top to reveal an impressively gym-toned body, co-star Emma Stone deadpans, “Seriously? It’s like you’re Photoshopped!” And at the end of an argument, when a husband stands forlornly in the street and the heavens open, he mithers, “What a cliché!”

The film begins with Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) enjoying a meal with his wife Emily (Julianne Moore). The silence between the couple speaks volumes and in the car on the way home, Emily confesses she slept with co-worker David Lindhagen (Kevin Bacon) and wants a divorce. Cal is dumbfounded.

The cuckolded husband seeks refuge at a bar where lothario Jacob Palmer (Gosling) takes pity and assures Cal: “I’m going to help you rediscover your manhood.” With guidance, Cal seduces feisty school teacher, Kate (Marisa Tomei) Meanwhile, Jacob pursues law student Hannah (Emma Stone), who is impervious to his chat-up lines.

Back home at the Weaver house, Cal and Emily’s 13-year-old son Robbie (Jonah Bobo) declares his crush for 17-year-old babysitter, Jessica (Analeigh Tipton).

Crazy, Stupid, Love elegantly interweaves the subplots, knotting them messily in a frenetic final 20 minutes. Carell and Moore are wonderful, milking their characters’ tears of regret as the marriage comes apart at the seams. Gosling demonstrates a light comic touch and screen chemistry with Stone is electric.

Rapport between Carell and Gosling is also strong, the latter taking one look at the emotionally shattered husband and declaring: “I don’t know whether to help you or euthanise you.”

Thankfully for Ficarra and Requa’s delightful film, it’s the former.

Soul Surfer recounts Bethany Hamilton’s inspirational true story, celebrating the power of the human spirit to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Bethany (AnnaSophia Robb) was born to surf alongside her parents Tom (Dennis Quaid) and Cheri (Helen Hunt) and brothers Noah (Ross Thomas) and Tommy (Chris Brochu). Bethany almost gives up on life when a 14ft shark rips off her left arm just below the shoulder during a morning surf. Bethany also questions her faith and turns to youth group leader Sarah Hill (Carrie Underwood).

She invites Bethany to travel to Phuket, Thailand, in the wake of the 2004 tsunami to help with relief work. Surrounded by devastation, the teenager gains new perspective.

Soul Surfer rides on the crest of a predictable wave, watching as Bethany almost gives up and then re-discovers her competitive edge.

Robb is compelling in the lead role and there are some poignant scenes between the young actress and Quaid and Hunt.

Surfing sequences are thrilling with the obligatory slow-motion shots of characters emerging triumphant from the tube of a crashing wave.