When Ned (Paul Rudd) gets arrested for selling marijuana to a police officer dressed in uniform he is separated from Willie Nelson, his dog, and thrown in prison for approximately eight months. When he gets out and returns back to his farm and his girlfriend of three years, Janet (Kathryn Hahn), he discovers that she has met another, Billy (T.J. Miller) and wants Ned off the property without Willie. Nowhere to go he ends up crashing at his mother Ilene’s (Shirley Knight) house but having a hard time coping there he eventually moves in with Liz (Emily Mortimer) one of his three sisters. For 250 a week Ned will watch the kids, River (Matthew Mindler) and his sister Echo (Kayla & Summer Squiteri) as well as help her husband Dylan (Steve Coogan) on his documentary about Tatiana (Lydia Haug), a ballet dancer.
Everything Ned does is idiotic as if the marijuana he’s been smoking as eaten away at his brain cells but in any case he cannot learn to keep his mouth shut nor can he tell a lie or keep a secret. The perfect formula for disaster as Ned discovers the inner truths that lie within his sisters lives. All Ned really wants out of life is his best friend back, Willie, but Janet will not give him up mainly out of spite. It’s a known fact that pets have become a pawn within the battle of broken relationships sometimes for the good but sometimes for the bad. One night while waiting in a parked car for Dylan to return from a shoot with Tatiana, Ned is told by police to move his car, one problem, no keys. He runs into the building to find Dylan naked with Tatiana in which he’s told it was to make her comfortable. No questions asked and no thoughts of foul play Ned goes out to move the car. Later Ned drops the bomb on Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) about the art of shooting a documentary in the buff, with no thoughts that loose lips sink ships.
When he wears out his welcome at Liz’s house he knocks on Miranda’s (Elizabeth Banks) door. Banks has an uncanny resemblance in this film to Parker Posey! He meets the downstairs friend Jeremy (Adam Scott) who happens to be Miranda’s best friend according to Miranda but deep down it could be more. Remember Ned’s lips move way before his brain has the chance to stop them. Miranda has the interview of a life time and if she can pull it off it could mean advancement in her career. She asks Ned to drive the car while she interviews Lady Arabella (Janet Montgomery) but soon the conversation gets run over by Ned. Although in the end, Miranda was able to write her sordid story thanks to the ears and lips of her brother, which of course became a problem later when the company lawyer gets involved ending Miranda’s aspirations.
Ned’s other sister Natalie (Zooey Deschanel) is a comedian and model living with a number of people along with her girlfriend, Cindy (Rashida Jones). She models for an artist Christian who paints her in the nude. As a favor to her she asks Christian to use Ned as a model. So yes he is nude and appears to love every minute but just not as much as his sister since eventually she sleeps with Christian unbeknown to Cindy. That is until Natalie pees on a stick which ends up informing her a stork is on the way. Well, you know where this is going. Yes, Ned spills the baby news eventually causing a break up between Natalie and Cindy. Is there nothing that Ned can do to make things right? Not until he ends back up in jail for lying to his parole Officer Omar (Sterling K. Brown), for telling the truth about reusing marijuana does this irresponsible man-child’s life take a turn for the better. In the end, honesty proves to be the best policy as two guys reunite to run Dripz and Willie Nelson meets Dolly Parton.
The story is well written and directed but actually seems to run longer than the 90 minutes it is due to the dry humor that Rudd projects from beginning to end. I mean if you’re into that type of humor than this film may be for you but I found it a bit boring at times. It has a nice cast full of diverse characters and Rudd really plays his role brilliantly but I think if I was high myself I may have enjoyed it more. There are some sexual moments in the film but even they seemed a bit unforgettable and not in an excitable way. I could have thought about some very interesting positions for a threesome than the lack luster scene presented in the film. Again like much of the film the foreplay was there but it never made it to the climax.
Banks was phenomenal and looked quite ravishing as the career woman but strangely enough a lot like Parker Posey and oddly enough I don’t find Posey ravishing. Maybe I was high during this film and didn’t realize it! But then again I don’t believe in drug use! Then again maybe I should! Kidding! So life in the theatre is truly a mystery! Deschanel and Mortimer rounded off the siblings and both commanded their performances so I really can’t say anything about the cast in a bad way but something did not work and I have to blame it on the writers with some fault falling on direction. The best part of the film besides the Golden Retriever was Hahn and Miller who both brought their game adding a good mixture of levity to their every scene verbally and physically. As for Coogan be prepared for a full moon and the sight of two nuts trying to launch a rocket, it could become blinding if you get my drift. Overall, a great cast with performances well done by all but the story for me just falls flat and a bit unexciting even though there is a lot going on within this comedy which plays out a bit on the dramatic side as well. Written with two paws and a bit of a yawn by Jon Patch. If it weren’t for Willie Nelson I probably would have wrote this with one and half paws. Thanks for proving that man’s best friend is truly his dog.