San Francisco is for lovers or so they say! One night about a year earlier than present time, a super bunny met Princess Diana at a New Year’s Eve party and romance was forever in the Bay area. Well not exactly! Present time, Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) did propose to his sweetheart Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt) one night on the side of the road. He gave her a ruby, they had an engagement party at the Drunken Pig and everything looked rosy for Jewish Tom and Christian Londoner Violet. Tom is a chef at a restaurant called Birch where he works with his friend and associate Alex Eihauer (Chris Pratt), the ever so less enchanting and unethical soon to be daddy. The night of the engagement party Alex slept with Violet’s sister Suzie and nine months later a baby girl is born.
Not all things go as planned for Tom and Violet when she gets her dream job at the University of Michigan working in the Sociology Department for her post-doc. Of course they left the beautiful Bay area to live in the harsh cold winters of Michigan State. Why, because Tom loves Violet and he’d do anything for her. Thinking he could easily find another restaurant chef position in Michigan but the best he can do is a sandwich job at Zingerman’s. Violet on the other hand is living her dream working with associates Vaneetha (Mindy Kaling), Ming (Randall Park) and Doug (Kevin Hart), all under the watchful eye of Professor Winton Childs (Rhys Ifans). One issue, Winton had more than a watchful eye for Violet.
As for Tom, he tried to fit in with the natives, school parties, hunting, knitting and tolerating a city he hates. It got so depressing and out of hand for Tom that he started to look like Grizzly Adams with everything but anything in their home made from deer! The wedding keeps getting postponed, grandparents and relatives keep dying and Tom is eventually left naked in a snow mound with severe frostbite, the end of his relationship and a nine toe drive back to San Francisco.
New relationships later for both, she still in Michigan with a one hundred year old man, not literally, and he in San Francisco with a child, so to speak, not all things are perfect. Tom ventures into his own business and Violet gets the dream job she did not deserve. So did Tom and Violet meet the loves of their lives or did they settle? Thanks to Grandma Catherine and a little bit of nostalgia, Wham, a war of words between Elmo and the Cookie Monster, New Orleans music, justice in the world and a throwback to vintage wear, someone gets to kiss the bride eventually.
I thought the direction was well done and the film, long as it may be, still had a nice flow to the story. The writing came across well, with a realistic mix of drama versus levity, sometimes on the line of hysterics. All in all though the story seemed to have a nice mix of reality and fantasy mixed in making it entertaining yet relatable for any couple on the verge of tying the knot. As for any animal situations in the film, the hunting sequences were a bit awkward since the deer looked like they’ve already been hunted, a bit fake and rough looking in the woods, although a little more realistic looking in the car seat!
Even though I’m not a huge fan of Segel, whether dressed or naked, especially naked, he did a nice job of keeping his character relatable and real for the audience to understand his plight of life in the shadow of his fiancé. Blunt of course was excellent as the career woman striving for advancement in the job world while trying to keep her man feeling like a man. Pratt was a bit crude at times with his character but he does a very nice job with his vocals and expressions. Brie was ideal as the sibling to Blunt’s character which helped to make their relationship as sisters very real and well paired. Along with a nice supporting cast of actors, cameos and extras this film although a bit lengthy was not only funny, yet predictable but also real and worthy of seeing by both men and women. Ok maybe a bit more for women but men can truly tolerate it thanks to Segel and his cast of potty mouth characters. Written and enjoyed with two and half paws out of four by Jon Patch.