Written by leading man Jason Segel and director Stoller, this movie trades heavily on the winning rapport between Segel and British actress Emily Blunt.
Stoller’s slick confection woos us with a terrific opening 30 minutes of zinging one-liners and colourful supporting performances.
Then the malaise sets in. Our attraction to the script and characters wanes and we almost fall out of love entirely with the film during a plodding, bloated middle section that noticeably treads water.
Thankfully, our disenchantment is tempered by unerring affection for Segel and Blunt and some lovely set pieces such as an animated discussion between Violet and Suzie that forces the sisters to adopt the voices of Elmo and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street to conceal the forcefulness of their argument from Suzie’s inquisitive young daughter.