When I first saw advertisements for this movie, I was intrigued. Steve Carrell as a suicidal, low-key scholar? Greg Kinnear as the father of a dysfunctional family? References to Nietszche?
As most of these are not standard Hollywood fare, I wondered how this movie would work out. Don't get me wrong, the movie looked like it would be hilarious, but I wondered just how it would all work.
Let me tell you that it all works wonderfully. You can slap me on the tush and call me an ancient Greek if you like, but this movie, which I figured would just be an opportunity for laughter, had me in such a cathartic state that I was crying for joy and laughing with how the characters chose to handle their pain.
The movie's big message, at least for me, was that, yes, sometimes life is so difficult that you want to slit your wrists, and, yes, fundamentally, a lot of life seems exceptionally absurd, and, yes, sometimes those people closest to you are the ones that you want to push away, however, the fact that even the best of us have the capacity to lose those things which are of greatest value to us should enable all of us to be the occasional idiot if it will show someone that we care about just how much we love them.
This movie refined me. I am better for having seen it.
p.s. This movie featured an actor whose name I cannot find as the emcee for the beauty pageant. This actor was one of the actors that I saw last week at the Groundlings theatre in LA. I nearly wet myself when I realized that it was him. The man is hilarious, although this bit part, by nature of its being a bit part, doesn't show just how hilarious he is. If he sold a product, I would have no choice but to purchase it out of love for him.
UPDATE: With a bit of help from and a great big thanks to the eagle eyed thany, we have found the elusive actor. His name is Matt Winston and he is hilarious. He also apparently appeared on an episode of Friends, which I'm sure the gf will love to hear as we ***coughshecough*** are currently rewatching the series.
5 hours ago