Viewed – 29 November 2009 Blu-ray
Part of a wave of comedies recently that don’t seem to know if they want to be romantic or toilet humour crude, lurking in that middle ground that isn’t either. Knocked Up was such a film, and this is another, although with plenty to recommend it if you’re after something that will make you smile but not necessarily rolling on the floor laughing. Jason Segal plays TV music composer Peter who is dumped by his long term TV actress girlfriend (Kristen Bell) who leaves him to pick up the pieces. Helped by his brother-in-law from a previous break-up, Peter is advised to ‘get away from it all’ and goes to Hawaii. There predictably he bumps into his ex and her new lover, brit-comic Russell Brand, admittedly the main reason I had avoided this one like the plague. Simple set up leads to many comically awkward moments (stand out – the dinner scene) as sad, pathetic Peter is forced to cope with his break up and eventually falls for the kind-hearted receptionist who befriends him.
Surprisingly, Russell Brand makes for a very enjoyable actor and steals the show, which isn’t hard considering that Segal & Bell are phoning their performances in, with Bell walking around in less and less clothing, which I admit is certainly appealing, but after seeing her in Heroes, I was expecting more. Segal is a likable looser, and the receptionist does seem to bring some spark to the otherwise by-the-numbers storyline, yet any comedy seems too gentle or forced, cameos from Paul Rudd & Jonah Hill only go to show how much better this one could have been given a better script, and to make matters worse, this has to be one of the poorest examples of high definition I have yet seen.
So if you like your comedies tame, by all means give it a rental … otherwise, steer clear.
Verdict: 2 /5