Entertaining? Yes. New and exciting? No. That pretty much sums up this entire movie. It is one of those common coming of age films where you watch the main character stumble through life after graduation before she finds what really makes her happy, or what she really wants. This one does throw in a quirky family and that helps immensely in making it enjoyable. Led by the hilarious Jane Lynch (the mother Carmella), a slightly off Dad (Michael Keaton as Walter), a parental described "weird" little brother, and the grandmother with the biting tongue (Carol Burnett as Maureen) they give the film that extra something to get you through its formulaic predisposition. All in all, it keeps you going, and it is the perfect length. There are no regrets but no accolades either as you grab what's left of your soda and walk out the door.
As far as costuming goes it would seem very easy to do when its just a middle-class family and a recent college grad. For some reason the choice was made to put Ryden in a variety of clothes that are too old for her character or overly formal. She is a 22 year old woman, just finding her way in the world. Would she wear a satiny-type dress to a basketball court? Or high heels when sitting on the couch with her computer? Her costumes feel overdone and out of place most of the time. Yes, she is trying to enter the workplace but that does not mean she has to lose her youth.
Family life is funny. In this film, not so often. The best humor is when Lynch and Burnetts characters have their one-liners. There are only a few but they are worth the wait. If you really want to laugh , not the film to do it in. The humor is light and sparse and indirect.
August 21, 2009