Feature Film | Comedy-Drama | USA | English | 1h30m
Dir: Jesse Peretz | Scr: Evgenia Peretz & David Schisgall | DP: Yaron Orbach | Prod: Anthony Bregman, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub | Mus: Eric D. Johnson & Nathan Larson | Ed: Jacob Craycroft & Andrew Mondshein | PD: Inbal Weinberg | Cast: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dancy, Rashida Jones, Shirley Knight, T. J. Miller, Janet Montgomery
For the most part, proving as amiable as its lead character, Peretz’s solidly crafted film quietly and undemandingly entertains us. But, as with most Hollywood produced and/or distributed fare, the final act – a horribly neat, yet vaguely guiltily pleasurable, wrapping up of all of its various themes and storylines, resolved in a way that belies all that has come before it – destroys any sort of artistic credibility that it may have had (which, admittedly, was already in short supply). Still, it’s hard not to like the preceding hour-or-so’s good-natured, gentle humour, which pierces a haze of vaguely misogynistic sourness, personified by the impressive Rudd, who plays the unfairly monikered titular relative, tossed from home to home by his self-centred sisters after spending a short spell in prison, with a great deal of skill and compassion. The rest of the performances from the talented, well assembled cast are generally rather underwhelming, though, with Coogan’s bland turn proving particularly disappointing. In fact, rather surprisingly, the best of the supporting turns comes from the distinctive stylings of T. J. Miller, in a very small part, who excels as an impossibly laidback hippy. There are worse ways to spend 90 minutes, of course, but probably not all that many less productive ones. *Shrugs shoulders* meh!