a) Yes, I still exist and occasionally watch movies. Not sure why I’ve suddenly decided to write reviews again, but we’ll see if this lasts.
b) This movie was pretty funny. Not a great movie, but funny.
Surprisingly, it is not Steve Carell’s character that is bringing the funny in this one. He’s pretty much just an @$$hole from beginning to end. And not a funny one. Just an @$$hole.
No, the funny is brought by Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney. It’s as if the writers (Nat Faxon and Jim Rash) poured all of their creativity into those two characters and left little else for the remaining cast. When neither one of them is on screen, the movie drags a little. Thankfully, the writers/directors know how great Sam Rockwell is and have him on screen quite a bit. Love the Sam Rockwell.
As for the plot…well, it’s not exactly complicated or compelling. You’ve got your standard awkward teen, Duncan (Liam James), being forced out of his comfort zone in new surroundings. All the while dealing with his hatred of his mother’s boyfriend, played by Carell. Of course there’s a cute girl who likes him…maybe…and an older slacker who takes him under his wing and teaches him how to win friends and impress people.
Standard stuff handled in a standard way. Yet…funny. I laughed a lot in the first 3rd of it, and just about every time Sam Rockwell was on the the screen. I guess if you laugh enough, you can overlook other issues.
Did I mention I love the Sam Rockwell?