TV actors John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live) star as Bert and Verona, two, unwed, expecting parents who are both excited and anxious at the prospects. The two decide to travel to six cities across North America, visiting various friends and relatives in an almost desperate attempt to determine where they will ultimately dwell.
As they journey from place to place, they sit and witness slices of people's lives. They watch other couple's relationships, hoping for some sort of inspiration. What ends up happening is promises that Bert and Verona won't be like those other couples. While those couples comment or complain about the dysfunction and disorders around them, the dysfunctions and disorders mostly lie within them.
Each relationship is quirky and odd, and they get progressively moreso. It starts out funny, anchored by great actors, but, as the film goes on, it gets less and less so. Directed by Sam Mendes who's known more for his dramatic films, I found Road to Perdition (2002) and Revolutionary Road (2008) had more laughs.
Krasinski garners some chuckles through a consistent, cheery attitude. He's almost never without a smile for two-thirds of this film. He also gets laughs via a few vaginal jokes and surprise voice-raising.
Rudolph is always delightful to watch. She's so very beautiful and really stands out in several scenes that prove how great an actress she is, as well as comedienne. However, Rudolph is mostly subdued.
The two of them really don't have much to do besides be vehicles for taking us into the homes of a series of crazy characters. The craziest is probably LN, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight and Secretary). She doesn't like strollers and breastfeeds other people's children.
The funniest is Lily, played by Allison Janney, best known for her role on The West Wing. Here, she plays a lush who can't shut up, especially when saying inappropriate things around her children or committing inappropriate acts against her husband, demeaning him or simply kissing another man.
Of the rest of the supporting cast, the only two others worth mentioning are Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey who play Tom and Munch Garnett. They're the seemingly happy couple that lives in Montreal. A night out with them reveals a hidden pain or rather five hidden pains, five losses that tear at the felicitous facade they put on. Both the performances of Messina and Lynskey are poetic, beautiful, and heartbreaking.
The rest of it rather bored me. What carried me for the most part was the amazing soundtrack filled with an enviable collection of songs. Most of which are taken from British singer-songwriter Alexi Murdoch's 2006 album "Time Without Consequences," but it includes tracks from George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and the Velvet Underground. If I were ever going on a trip like this, I would certainly want the music played here.
Three Stars out of Five
Rated R for some language and some sexual content
Running Time: 1 hr. and 38 mins.