Even though this comedy has a tendency to dip into cartoonish silliness, it's anchored by a razor-sharp performance by Wiig as a woman forced to confront everything she hates about herself. The film is also packed with hilarious moments that keep us laughing, and it also gets surprisingly sexy and emotional along the way.
Wiig plays Imogene, who has done nothing with her career after winning a rising-star playwright award. Then she loses her day job as a listings editor just as her high-flier boyfriend (Petsos) leaves her. When she fakes a suicide attempt to get some attention, she's court-ordered to move in with her free-spirited mother Zelda (Bening) back home in New Jersey. There she struggles with Zelda's colourful boyfriend George (Dillon), who claims to be a top-secret spy, her goofy-inventor brother Ralph (Fitzgerald) and the smart, sexy and very young lodger Lee (Criss) who rents her old bedroom. But just as she's beginning to cope, a family secret shakes her to the core.
Even as the script strains to be improbably zany, Wiig holds the film together with a startlingly honest comical turn. From the start we knew she didn't fit in with her Manhattan friends, and her slightly out-of-control personality is much more suited to the Jersey Shore. Her scenes with Criss are very nicely played, as they develop an unexpected relationship. By contrast, Bening struggles to appear as dim as Zelda seems to be, while Dillon hams it up as her fantasist toy boy and Fitzgerald's Ralph is so nutty that he seems to be from another movie altogether.
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Imogene cannot seem to move on from her unsuccessful career as a playwright in New York and her destroyed relationship with a former boyfriend. Dreaming of the past and what could've been, she goes into meltdown and wakes up in the bed of a psychiatric unit with a doctor informing her that she must either stay in hospital or be cared for by a close relative. She is ultimately forced to go back to her hometown in New Jersey to be with her wayward mother who has never had the ability to take care of her properly as a child let alone as an adult. However, when she gets home, she discovers that her mother is living with an eccentric compulsive liar and has rented out Imogene's bedroom to a young man, who happens to be rather charming. She soon learns that in order to get better and be able to stand on her own two feet again, she must accept her family as it is and forgive her mother for her past struggles.
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