However, if you chose not to see the film or dismiss it out right because of that opinion, like some almighty snob, in favour for a ridiculously awful movie in which CGI things hit each other then not only are you thoroughly misguided but also you missed out on one of the funniest and most charming movies of the season.
Every so often one of these films is squeezed out into the summer schedule. Up until that annoyingly bad sitcom The New Girl, Zooey Deschanel was practically making a career out of starring in them. This one, however sits alongside Dan In Real Life, Stranger Than Fiction (or more recently, Everything Must Go), Admission or 50/50 and don't worry if you don't really like any of those films either, because while it's similar in terms of Hollywood output, casting, tone etc. it's also very different.
The plot would not look out of place in one of Woody Allen's lazier, later comedies. A playwright turned play blurb writer, living in, fairly high society, New York thinks she has her life together, loses everything, more or less, in one day and, through a plot contrivance, ends up living with her kooky mother played, predictably, by Annette Benning in Atlantic City, surrounded by a cast of wacky characters, only to, eventually, break her writer's block and turn her experience into an award winning, critically lauded play. In fact, I think, Woody Allen may have already made that film.
So, you may be thinking, how does a quirky, self indulgent, predictable and cliche riddled plot amount to one of the funniest and most charming movies of the season? Well it's simple. It's the thing that most films, usually, get staggeringly wrong. The cast and, more importantly even than that, the script are tremendous. Kristen Wiig does the sort of performance that Judd Apatow crushed and destroyed but some of us saw lurking, between the horrendously misjudged poo gags, in Bridesmaids and, actually, even betters it. Annette Benning is, for the first time in her career I think, not annoying and instead turns in a funny and nuanced performance as Wiig's obsessive mother. Matt Dillon is priceless as a sort of beardy and dishevelled Steven Seagal type character, who, hilariously, seems to be lying about being in the CIA and a whole bedtime storybook full of long-winded, tall tales about bizarre and adventurous experiences he says he has. Finally, I found Christopher Fitzgerald as the mollusc obsessed, slightly inward and agoraphobic brother, a delight to watch.
So, to the script and while every seemingly-negative point I said earlier might be true, the script is still fantastically written. The dialogue, scenarios and observations are laugh out loud funny and the jokes are actually ABOUT something or are just joyously odd, much in the way the best Woody Allen scripts used to be, which is a breath of fresh air in this world of easy and sad dick and fart jokes. The characters are wonderfully, and yes sometimes obviously, written with the clue to the script's greatness lurking in the little details. The gag involving the boardwalk crush that Ralph has, played by the always watchable Natasha Lyonne, and the glittery make up tears she gives Wiig or the quick shot of the fridge full of sandwiches towards the end, for example, add little rye laughs to an already hilarious script.
Don't be put off by your impression of what you think it is and don't be too cool for it or too cynical for it, just go and see it and support a film that isn't a sequel, a remake, made for the GDP of a small Eastern European nation and doesn't have enough CGI in it to drown James Cameron's ego.
Even if you don't like it like I did, you'd still be showing the ever increasingly mindless and redundant studio bosses that not everything needs to be a big spectacle, sometimes people want to laugh, cry and have their cockles warmed.
7.5 out of 10 cheese and ham sandwiches