Growing up has never been easy, and the path from high school to adulthood is one of the most difficult. The landscape around that path is always changing, but the route itself hasn’t changed much in a century or more; pretty much since primary school became a standard fixture in Western life.
Depicting that transition believably is probably just as difficult as living it. Knightley (The Imitation Game) takes a good run at the effort. There are odd gaps, particularly around her choices about what she is honest about and what she isn’t, but she creates a compelling performance that feels both honest and enjoyable.
As a director, Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister) really helps along that sense of reality. Sometimes it is by just allowing the actors their moments of silence and contemplation, holding the camera that extra tick or two so you can see the mental math complete. Sometimes is the energy and tone she encourages, along with first-timer Seigel’s script, which drops into very real language at unexpected moments.
Overall, this is a romantic comedy about growing up and finding that person who completes you… at least for a time. It hits plenty of emotional strings while never really taking itself too seriously; you get to laugh through the angst. And the core actors deliver performances entertaining enough to overcome any weaknesses in the story.