Actor John Krasinski’s second directorial effort is a decent one with a first rate cast.
Krasinski stars as John Hollar, working a dead end job for a publishing company when his girlfriend (the always great Anna Kendrick) informs him his mom (a terrific Margo Martindale) is sick and he’s flying home to see her. Once there, John has to deal with his weird brother Ron (Sharlto Copley), the oddball nurse that is also his old girlfriend’s new husband (Charlie Day) and his weepy dad (Richard Jenkins).
The script goes to some familiar territories, but the performers put new spins on the situations, especially Martindale, who takes the part and really runs with it. Krasinski does a good job handling the script’s many mood swings, and the relationships in the film feel real; that strange kind of real.
The film manages to get laughs, even when the subject matter goes to dark places. It deals with the lousier side of life without getting totally depressing, something that could’ve happened easily. Krasinski makes it all work.
The supporting cast also includes Randall Park, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Josh Groban in small but memorable roles. The soundtrack is stellar, featuring Josh Ritter, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and Wilco.