The broken heart to new love arc is generic, but constant pops (flashes? see Peter’s hilarious naked confrontation with Sarah) of goofy humour keep the film feeling fresh and engaging throughout, never taking itself too seriously (see the failed symbolic cliff jump). Other highlights include the CSI parody (Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime), Paul Rudd’s surf instructor (“Oh, the weather outside is weather”), and McBrayer’s nervous new husband constantly cursing the confounding human anatomy.
Evangelist Carlton Pearson is ostracized by his church for preaching that there is no Hell. (IMDb)
The Christian jargon often comes off as a little wooden; maybe it’s because a lot of it feels like it would’ve had to be indoctrinated (Carl’s reasoning at the heresy trial spoke well to this), but the more progressive theology is a bit ham-fisted too. Ejiofor is excellent though, as an imperfect man wrestling with tradition, conviction, and consequences, and along with beautiful cinematography and a solid score this makes for a number of powerful scenes that overshadow most kinks in the script.
Dispatched from his basement room on an errand for his widowed mother, slacker Jeff might discover his destiny (finally) when he spends the day with his unhappily married brother as he tracks his possibly adulterous wife. (IMDb)
The doc-style camera work here is a bit annoying but it doesn’t take away from the heartfelt performances and intriguing one-day storyline. Segel’s philosophical optimist, Helms’ neurotic husband, and Sarandon’s lonely single mother all feel wonderfully real, as do their own personal journeys that converge in a beautiful and moving ending. It’s an understated film that packs a powerful emotional punch, thanks to its endearingly simple script and focused character development.
At times outrageous and hilarious, at others, genuinely sweet and heartfelt. Loads of laugh-out-loud moments, with a cast stacked full of comedic gems. It’s a movie of extreme moments that overwhelm the actual story and character development at points, but make it a very memorable and enjoyable watch.