A big part of that praise is due to the endearing performance by “The Office’s” Jon Krasinski and a surprisingly soulful turn by “Saturday Night Live” alum Maya Rudolph. Both have great chemistry together and are able to balance the intrinsic comedy with the dramatic parts. The other couple that gets high marks are writers Dave Eggers and his wife Vendela Vida. I’m a big fan of Dave Eggers work, fiction and non-fiction, but I was a little afraid that his cerebral and eclectic humor wouldn’t translate well to the screen, but the script is well-balanced and accessible and maintains Eggers sensibilities. It manages to be unique (aka quirky) but not pretentious, and not as “hipster” as much as I feared.
The film is episodic, broken up by the different cities Burt and Verona visit, which is a good method for showcasing a great supporting cast (most of whom only have a few minutes of screentime, sadly). Some of these vignettes are great and a meaningful, like the simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking episode with Melanie Lynskey and Chris Messina, some silly fun like Maggie Gyllenhaal’s. However, it’s hard not to compare, with some definitely stronger than others. I thought Allison Janney and Jim Gaffigan’s detour, while funny, was a little bit too over the top and didn’t seem to fit in the rest of the movie, or say anything as relevant. I also thought the end, while sweet and an emotional payoff, was the one predictable part of a film that prides itself on its impulsiveness.
Making Of: At around 16 minutes, this feature doesn’t stray much from the usual interviews and marketing fluff of similar DVD extras, but I like all the people involve so it wasn’t too painful.
Green Filmmaking: An obvious pat on the pack from everybody for their efforts to make the production as earth friendly as possible. Smarmy.
Extra Tidbit: Melanie Lynskey starred in Peter Jackson’s HEAVENLY CREATURES with Kate Winslet, who is married to director Sam Mendes, thus affirming the circle of life.