‘Be Better Than The Gap’ – 4 Things Men Can Learn From Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love

be better than the Gap

Yes it’s a rom-com, but there’s plenty that a man can learn from Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Steve Carell plays a family man whose wife has admitted she’s had an affair with a guy called David Lindhagen. Carell moves out and seeks solace at the local bar telling everyone how depressed he is and feeling sorry for himself. Needless to say he becomes a very sad case.

Enter Ryan Gosling’s character:

be better than The Gap
Crazy, Stupid, Love shopping scene

Gosling plays an accomplished ladies man. He’s super-confident, well-dressed and a natural at picking up women. He charms the women each night and more often than not leaves with them on his arm.

Gosling takes pity on Carell and takes him under his wing, brandishing his tough love approach to educating Carell.In a memorable line, he tells Carell that the reason he lost his wife is not because of David Lindhagen, but because he lost sight of who he is as ‘a man, a husband and probably as a lover’.


Lesson #1: Don’t lose sight of who you are as a man.

Remember that you are a man.

Don’t blame others for your misfortunes.

Take responsibility for your actions and for who you are.

Don’t whine and don’t make excuses.

Lesson #2: “Be better than The Gap”

The standout scene in the movie is when Gosling takes Carell shopping. Carell starts the scene in terrible clothes, symbolising how he has let himself go and descended into ‘dad’ clothes. He looks bland and invisible in clothes that don’t fit. He’s meek and submissive. He has no style of his own and has no impact on anyone around him. The contrast with Gosling is huge. Gosling’s character is sharply dressed. He doesn’t care so much about what people think and he is a much more confident personality who goes after what he wants. He knows the importance of good style and a strong personal appearance on how you are perceived in life. A strong impression helps you succeed in life.

Like Gosling says, “Be better than the Gap”.

Here’s the clip where Gosling says the line:

Lesson #3: Details matter

A recurring theme on www.howtobedapper.com is that details matter. People who know, know. From the clip above, check out Gosling tearing down New Balance sneakers, jeans from the Gap that give Carell a ‘mom-butt’, Carells’ Supercuts hairstyle and Carell’s velcro fastening wallet.
Details matter.

Lesson #4: Attitude and Confidence are everything

The way at the end of the scene when Gosling is confidently flirting with the hairstylist and he asks if she’d sleep with Carrell and she says ‘well, yeah!’. Contrast this confidence with the instant shock from Carrell that anyone would be interested in him. She starts to doubt whether she’s attracted to him anymore. Gosling points out the problem with his lack of confidence; everything was going well until Carell opened his mouth.

Be better than The Gap.

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