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.
Friendless Peter Klaven goes on a series of man-dates to find a Best Man for his wedding. But, when his insta-bond with his new B.F.F. puts a strain on his relationship with his fiancée, can the trio learn to live happily ever after?
Pete and Debbie are both about to turn 40, their kids hate each other, both of their businesses are failing, they're on the verge of losing their house, and their relationship is threatening to fall apart.
A mattress salesman finds his plan to adopt a Chinese baby augmented by the arrival of a young woman, who comes into his workplace, falls asleep on one of the beds, and starts to affect his life upon waking up.
When he finds out that his work superiors host a dinner celebrating the idiocy of their guests, a rising executive questions it when he's invited, just as he befriends a man who would be the perfect guest.
Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
Devastated Peter takes a Hawaiian vacation in order to deal with the recent break-up with his TV star girlfriend, Sarah. Little does he know, Sarah's traveling to the same resort as her ex - and she's bringing along her new boyfriend.
A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.
Ned lived a happy life growing organic vegetables on a farm with his hippie girlfriend and his dog named Willie Nelson, but an unadvised incident with marijuana at a farmer's market lands him in jail. When he gets out of jail, he is off to live with his sisters. While Ned is still happy, his sisters are much less so after his honest, but unworldly manner contributes to revelations which manage to expose infidelity in one marriage, potentially illegal actions in one job opportunity, dishonesty in one budding relationship and morally unpleasant behaviour in one domestic partnership. He sees those problems as breakdowns in communication, but his sisters see him as an idiot. The truth the audience witness is that ultimately, Ned is a catalyst for good around him without consciously setting out to do so. The denouement of the film sees balance restored with a positive outcome for all in the family. Written by
Hey, you know, I've been meaning to tell you. You're doing a really good thing here, Omar. Seriously. I mean you talk to us screw-ups, you give us a reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
Thanks, man. So you get out of bed in another three weeks, OK?
I'll do it.
I appreciate the compliment. It's rare that we get love from the clients.
Well, you're a good dude. And I just needed this appointment today, I'm having a tough go of it. I swear, I try and do good, but I just screw it up. Man, I...
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A hilarious movie written for Paul Rudd: what more could we want?
Rudd plays Ned, a stoner who has frizzled his neurons to the point that he has lost any ability to detect or dish out B.S. The poster child for what it means to be ingenuous, Ned is a trusting, playful, adorable stray puppy who isn't quite housebroken. So you-know-what hits the fan when his three sisters serially take him in after his release from jail. He's nothing but tsuris. It's no wonder that his most enduring relationship is with his dog, Willie Nelson.
Thanks to Rudd's everyman persona and the genial obliviousness he brings to Ned, you can't help but feel empathy. As with a suspense film where the audience knows what's going to happen but the characters are still in the dark, you want to yell out to warn Ned before he screws up again. His perfect comic timing and the made-to-order script make sure you get the most laughs from his predicament. Luckily, there's more to him than just bad luck. He's also an endearing white angel on the shoulders of his sisters, helping them fight their devils as he becomes an unwitting catalyst for change.
The movie's impressively talented and good-looking cast includes Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, and Elizabeth Banks (looking a lot like Parker Posey) as sisters. What's more, Rashinda Jones and Hugh Dancy add to the already high eye-candy quotient. Steve Coogan plays Ned's deliciously distasteful brother-in-law in his inimitable unpleasant-guy way.
The film is smartly directed by Jesse Peretz from a story he developed with his sister, Evgenia Peretz. I saw this at the Sundance screening in Brookline, Massachusetts, where director Peretz said they wrote it for Rudd, whom he clearly enjoys working with, and who wouldn't? Even though they stuck to the script, Rudd improvised at least two of the movie's funniest bits.
A fun ride throughout, the film only has a couple of weak spots. One scene has Ned comfortably telling a white lie, something so out of character it was jolting to the point of distraction. The ending could use some reshaping, and perhaps it might get some before general release. But even as is, this movie is about as charming and hilarious as Rudd can be, which is quite sizable.
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