This is a good presentation of a woman watching her life heading towards destruction and her efforts to climb back upwards. The initial story is not a compelling: she does so poorly at work she deserves to be fired. Her boyfriend leaves her and she creates her own crisis to win him back only to find herself sent to live with her estranged family. The greater and more interesting story is of a woman who is lost in who she is and her struggle to find who she is. The storyline rapidly and continually improves as increasing difficulties are thrown at the main character as she struggles in coping with eccentric family members and boarders. Yet it is they who help her turn her life around.
This is a comedy and has some “laugh at loud” moments. The humor does not detract from its being serious and introspective look at depression. The real story is that of a woman who failed to live up to her potential and has given up on achieving what she once thought she could. Learning who she is, what she can do, and what is important in life, the viewer learns, is what really matters.
The dramatic turn near the end is a stretch from realism, which is a shame for a movie that otherwise is quite realistic. The bizarre brother role is skillfully portrayed with an authenticity that kept this movie appearing lifelike. The climax ties into earlier elements presented throughout the movie. It also has a display of great symbolism in what the brother constructed. The climax, though, failed to adhere to the realistic feel that existed throughout the rest of the film although it does resolve most of the story’s questions, creates heroes, and vindicates some.
Kristen Wiig is convincing as the lead character. The sustaining cast each add their own special elements to this movie. The acting is all around excellent and the dialogue is good. The plot could have been more dramatic and the climatic twist was lacking. Overall, this is a fun movie that achieves both tragic plot elements as well as humor.