There's been a spate of films lately where two or more very different people (who are often somehow friends) are forced to spend time together, and through various trials and tribulations, end up 'learning from each other'. Due Date, Hangover 2, Horrible Bosses (to an extent), The Change Up, and Crazy, Stupid, Love are the ones that I saw. In fact, I watched CSL two days after The Change Up.
The contrast could not have been greater. Where Change Up relied on your basic hard swearing and 'gag' gags (so very very tiresome in this day and age unless done really well), CSL was a much better thought-out film with multiple story lines weaving together smoothly, and normal, believable characters. The main plot is a man whose wife wants a separation, having had enough of their too-settled relationship. Spotted moping in a bar by a ladykiller, he is taught how to pull in women. CSL flows really well between serious moments (a couple coping with separation, the anxieties of teen love), and lighthearted/cringeworthy ones (Cal having his image remodeled, teen love again). None of the characters are filler, and the scenes with the kids especially feel as if they are out of a good 'indie' teen movie.
So in short, for me this film really stood out because it makes you laugh (a lot), think (just enough), and is actually *uplifting*, which cannot really be said about a film where Zach Galifianakis is pleasuring himself in a car in front of a small dog.