Who's in It:
Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney, Emily Blunt, Amy Ryan
The Basics: Widower Dan (Carell) takes his three daughters to his family's summer home for a late autumn weekend, where every other huggy relative is waiting for them to join in with the happy group aerobics, family talent shows and heated crossword-puzzle competitions. Dan falls in love at first sight with Marie (Binoche), who's already dating his brother. Phony everything ensues, fake warmth oozes, dumbness prevails.
What's the Deal? The poster really tells you everything: Oops, my head has fallen into a plate of comfort food! And I was thinking that because, you know, the movie started it in the first place that maybe I could get away with just writing the word "cute" over and over and that would be this whole review. It's seriously that oppressively adorable and not a bit like Real Life. Every single sunny disposition on display every single fuzzy sweater is like someone shouting "SNUGGLY-WUGGLY! COMFERS-COZERS!" at you until you want to bite their face off.
Isabelle Huppert Thanks Her Lucky Stars It's Not Her: Binoche reaches for cardio health like a salsa-robics pro in what could only be a scene added based on someone's desperate need to include Earth, Wind & Fire's "September" to the soundtrack (even then the part where she thrusts around the floor with Cook to Vanity 6's "Nasty Girl" is cooler). But if you like this woman in other films, all seeing her repeatedly throwing her arms in the air will do is make you think, "OK, show of hands: Who else in this cast has worked with Krzysztof Kieslowski, Leos Carax and Michael Haneke?"
Dear Steve Carell, Please Do Not Become Robin Williams: I know you're not reading this review, but I feel compelled to speak to you personally about this, because if you do become Robin Williams, I'll have to stop watching The Office. And that would suck. It would suck even more than Evan Almighty. But see what I mean, Steve? Two crap movies in less than six months. Fire your agent. Or fire yourself. Whoever's making these decisions take them out.
I Almost Forgot to Hate Dane Cook: But it's a testament to how lame everything is here that he almost gets out without bothering you too much.