Sometimes you just gotta take a bite.
Swift shot: Predictably silly, romantic comedy, heavier on the romance than the comedy – but still worth a halfhearted bite or two. Jason Segel co-wrote the screenplay with his The Muppets friend Nicholas Stoller. Starring his favorite actor, himself, Segel works opposite the incredibly sophisticated, classy yet charmingly goofy Emily Blunt.
Tom (Segel) is a very successful sous-chef at a swank restaurant in San Francisco, and he is madly in love with Violet (Blunt) whom he met at a create your own super-hero costume party. He was the giant “Super Bunny” she was Princess Diana. And, yes, the film explains why that counted at a create your own super-hero party. He is all set to propose to Violet, life is good, things are about to settle where they need to, it’s New Year’s Eve, he has an elaborate proposal dinner planned. And, of course, no spoiler here, Violet accepts.
Violet is a true-blue Brit, and she has her family from London come to the Drunken Pig for a comical engagement dinner with some toasts that should pull a few laughs . . . I laughed anyway. Violet’s sister, Suzie (Alison Brie) is a complete wreck, yet one of my favorite characters in the film. Again, no spoiler here, she hooks up with Tom’s friend, Alex (Chris Pratt) at the engagement party.
All is just wonderful, as Violet hopes she will get picked up by Berkley [Ptooey] to begin her psychology graduate work. Ah, life, she is a cruel, heartless bitch, and much to everyone’s chagrin, Violet gets accepted to . . . Slime University, oh, I mean Michigan. It is only for two years, tops, so Tom “happily” moves to Michigan with his fiancee. Suzie is soon under the odd tutelage of Professor Winton Childs (Rhys Ifans) the wacky Welshman who is eager to test the patience of adults, using a test similar to one where children are told they can have one marshmallow now or wait 20 minutes and get two marshmallows. Suzie devises an interesting experiment using stale doughnuts. Soon the movie becomes an analogy for the experiment.
You get your requisite fish-out-of-water tomfoolery, as Tom tries to get hired at several restaurants, to no avail. But, fans of some adult-swim shows will be treated to a few cameos. I guess I shouldn’t ruin it, but you may miss it, so pay attention during the job-hunting scenes. Anyway, Tim, I mean, Tom never lands anything prestigious like he had in San Francisco, and soon he embraces all that, must be, Michigan life. He becomes a living Sasquatch, which were some of the scenes I found the funniest.
Ultimately, Suzie’s stint in Michigan is prolonged, again, no spoiler there, I did mention it was a predictable story. Tom and Suzie finally have a falling out and maybe this whole engagement idea was just a dream. Maybe love isn’t enough to be with someone, maybe geography and careers, and all the other bullshit in life gets in the way. Or, maybe, somehow Tom and Suzie manage to somehow make it despite all the obstacles. I won’t give that away either, but in the end, will Tom, or Suzie, choose the stale doughnut or wait til something better, something perfect comes along?
If you like quirky, romantic comedies I would say this one definitely had me laughing, or at least grinning, throughout most of its run time, but it plays heavy on character comedy. With a ton of NBC cast-members, the whole thing should feel funny and familiar. There are some pretty shocking adult themes in this film, so leave the kids at home. While Segel remained clothed throughout The Muppets, not so much in this film. And, it is HEAVY on the raunchy and deliberately gross many times.