Yes, this is a fairly standard family drama, loaded with people trying to find themselves, dark humor, and sappy moments. But for his sophomore attempt behind the camera, John Krasinski (Aloha) managed to deliver an entertaining and well-balanced tale with the aid of a script that has just enough variations on this theme to not feel stale. It is even more impressive since Karsinski is also a large chunk of the on-screen ensemble.
In addition to his own talents, the movie boasts a collection of solid talent. Leading the pack are Richard Jenkins (Jack Reacher) and Margot Martindale (Sneaky Pete), whose relationship is at once wonderful and painful. Shalto Copely (Chappie) was the biggest surprise for me here as I didn’t even recognize him in this role. He is also the weakest of the characters, to my mind, his comedy a bit too big for the intent of the film. Much the same was true for Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia).
But in the smaller roles there were some good turns. Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Swiss Army Man) and Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat) have small but impactful screen time. And Anna Kendrick (The Accountant) has a small gem of a role as well, her usual dominating presence held in check in service to the rest of the cast.
The story is a bit broad in its humor at times, but Krasinski manages to make it work by the end. It isn’t a perfect movie, but it is heart-warming and funny and worth the time.