Nick Kroll stars as Jake, a player in the tech industry whose career is just about to explode. The film opens with a striking initial impression of Jake: an infomercial where he delivers information about his newest invention, the hottest investment item on the market. However, shortly after, during a New York City high-life cocaine-laden party, a prior mistake completely upends Jake’s career, leaving him with no money, one friend, and nowhere to live. The one remotely positive thing that comes from it: a convenient excuse to move back to his childhood home in the suburbs, where his sister Justine (Rose Byrne) lives with her husband Danny (Bobby Cannavale) and young son, Teddy (Caleb and Matthew Paddock, who are literally the cutest boys on the face of the planet).
As Jake encounters difficulties with making friends, defining success, finding his place in his old neighborhood, struggles with harnessing his ability to responsibly care for Teddy, (i.e. someone other than himself) and debates the best way to navigate loyalty when it comes to a marital affair, he slowly matures while tearing down the affected charades of the other adults around him, proving that no one has really got it all together any of the time no matter their age. He grows up through having to handle questions of morality and what’s truly important in life: career and prestige, or family and love.
While all of the acting is good, Rose Byrne easily stands out as the stellar performance of the movie: her portrayal of the tired, fed-up, slightly crazed, yet slightly hopeful pregnant Justine is brazenly real and emotional, further cementing her comedic credibility. Nick Kroll’s affable nature makes for a good man-child, though Katz seemed to rely too heavily on him to completely carry the subtle humor and emotional content to a poignantly deep place.
The film is nicely funny, with no bells or whistles. It’s what you would expect out of a comedy produced by the Duplass brothers. It was calm, warm, and fuzzy, with slightly off-beat humor and truthfully fresh portrayals of the highs and lows of life and humanity. It’s not their best though, nor their smartest, wittiest, or most unique. But it’s not particularly bad either. I guess, my biggest critique of the movie is that it is completely forgettable. The movie is about finding yourself, no matter at what stage of life, redefining yourself and starting over when you need to, not being afraid to be an adult beginner. However, with its tepid humor, trite metaphors, and too tidily wrapped-up ending, the film failed at leaving a lasting impression of any kind and at making any sort of considerable impact.