A rare delight. Perfect for families, and witty and fun for adults—the kind of “movie they don’t make anymore.”
I wasn’t a Muppet fan, though I had nothing against them. So I went in with no feelings for or against them. It was more of a “Yay, I get to take my three grandkids to the movies!” kind of thing. But it was a fun experience for everyone. Lots of cameos by some folks I recognized and others I didn’t, but I knew they were “somebody,” which made the moment something more. For the movie person, lots of references to the fact that it was a movie they were all in. In-jokes galore, some of which will stay fresh.
What was particularly remarkable is that with producer-actor Jason Segel, we have someone who could easily have tipped this into the partially cynical and world-weary. But instead there wasn’t a “wink-wink” moment in the film that compromised the joy and innocence of it. He played things straight all the way through. Of course, Segel had a perfect partner in Amy Adams, who proved in Enchanted that you could play things without camp or a knowing nod in a kid’s picture and make sweet innocence look good.
A “knowing” film often implies dark or skeptical. This film is as knowing and intelligent as any film that despairs of the human condition. But instead, it’s smart and funny, clean and wholesome, and as enjoyable as any film of the year.
Final note: Jason Segel must not be able to dance a lick. He’s occasionally surrounded by dancers in a typical kind of movie dance where the leads perform an easy version of what the real dancers are doing, or a light complement to the real dance moves. Amy Adams has clearly had dance training, but poor Jason can barely kick a leg. They give him so little to do, and what he does he does so minimally, that he often looks like he’s standing still. But if he’s the guy that brought us this delight, then having two left feet is forgiven.