Good news and bad news regarding the latest mumblecore film from brothers Jay and Mark Duplass. The good news is that it’s their best movie yet. The bad news is…it’s not that great a film.
Jeff musing on what the purpose in life is could work. All the weird coincidences that Jason Segel (perfectly cast) perceived to have greater meaning could work. Most of this film doesn’t work, though.
The crash zoom thing the camera often does, is beyond idiotic. They should give that a rest. I didn’t care for it in Puffy Chair, Baghead, and Cyrus – their first movie without indie stars like Greta Gerwig, but bigger names like John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, and Jonah Hill. This movie has a big name cast, too. They’re all decent for their roles.
Susan Sarandon is the frustrated mother, Rae Dawn Chong is her co-worker and BFF.
Judy Greer plays the cheating wife of Ed Helms, who would be good in the role of an obnoxious husband/brother…but with him and Segel playing these man-child characters, you get bored and stop caring. I’m wondering when filmmakers will stop with these types of characters. At least they didn’t have Segel just sitting at home smoking pot and eating Captain Crunch. He went out and had a few interesting scenes.
It was much more refreshing to see Helms playing a naïve man in Cedar Rapids. And with his success in The Office and the Hangover films, it’s a role that would’ve worked better with another actor. That doesn’t mean I didn’t chuckle when Segel doesn’t fit into a Porsche Boxer and is standing outside the sunroof.
There’s an entire 15 minute segment of this movie I loved. The brothers are in a hotel discussing whether or not running down a hallway would help them break a door down. That entire hotel scene was fun.
There were a few touching moments. One that isn’t, involves Sarandon finally getting a kiss from her secret admirer. It is ridiculous for about 10 different reasons.
I’m also left wondering, why the audience is supposed to share in the protagonists goofy worldview. It’s a series of fun coincidences (or what could’ve been), but I don’t buy that they’ve achieved any sort of redemption. I think Segel will go back to smoking pot and not doing small things his mother asks. I also doubt that after a talk with his brother, wife, and mother he doesn’t respect, Helms character won’t change. Any adult that loves hanging out at Hooters and wearing gloves while driving a Porsche, is probably the person he’s going to be. I certainly don’t buy the transformation Sarandon’s character made involving her love life.
All that being said, I bet audiences are going to love this. That being said, you’ll probably enjoy it a lot more than I did.
I can only give it 2 stars out of 5.
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