This rollicking and slightly absurd comedy from director Jesse Peretz (FIRST LOVE, LAST RITES) begins when Tom Reilly (Zach Braff) loses his promising chef job at a swanky New York restaurant. He is compelled to move to small-town Ohio to take a job with his father-in-law (Charles Grodin) at an advertising agency to support his wife, Sofia (Amanda Peet), and newborn son. Tom's adjustment to the rhythms and rituals of the office world is awkward at best, and complicated by the presence of an old high-school flame of Sofia's (Jason Bateman), a passive-aggressive paraplegic who schemes to get Sofia back. Meanwhile, Sofia must cope with the shock of switching roles from powerful big-city lawyer to stay-at-home suburban mom.
Young working parents will identify with the familiar conflicts presented here as the embattled Tom and frustrated Sofia struggle to make sense of their new responsibilities. Braff purveys his patented nerdy charm as a nice guy whose behavior becomes more and more manic as the rug gets continually pulled out from under him, and Peet is a lovely screen presence even as her character's patience and enthusiasm fade in less than attractive ways. Their performances blend wry intelligence with out-and-out slapstick, and they are supported by a superb ensemble cast including Amy Poehler, Amy Adams, Paul Rudd, Donal Logue, and Mia Farrow. While some of the situations and jokes border on tasteless, it's the smart kind of gross-out humor of a Farrelly Brothers or Jay Roach film, and the film never never loses its heart, as embodied by Braff and Peet.