You should call more.
John Hollar (John Krasinski) lives in New York working at a publishing office that he hates. His girlfriend Rebecca (Anna Kendrick) is pregnant, but he won't marry her despite her being a very caring and understanding person. He gets a phone call that his mother, Sally (Margo Martindale) has just found out she has a brain tumor and must go into surgery. He leaves back to his hometown in somewhereville, USA to spend time with his mother, father Don(Richard Jenkins) and his older brother, Ron. (Sharlto Copley, barely hanging on to an American accent)
The Hollars gives off an immediate Garden State vibe, and unfortunately it can't shake it despite its wonderful cast. Don't get me wrong, the film has a lot of heart. And in those moments, it shines, but for the rest of it it staggers around between over the top and forced. There's a scene in the film where John is swinging on a rope swing over a river, fully clothed. You know that rope is going to break and he'll fall in. The film does this often, it becomes very predictable.
Money problems? Check. Drama with the upcoming baby? check. The ex that tries to get in the picture? Check, check, check. It all feels very unnatural. John has dinner with his high school sweetheart who isn't over him, despite (I'm assuming) everyone involved being in their late 30's. An awful lot of time to get over something like that. Ron takes issue with his ex wife moving on to another man in the most contrived dialogue imaginable and makes some of the dumbest decisions I've ever seen. The film also tries to go out of its way to excuse John for not committing to Rebecca, despite her not doing a single thing to warrant it.
Martindale is the absolute star of this. She's wonderfully sweet as Sally and you're on her side throughout. Kendrick comes close behind her as Rebecca. Jenkins is always reliable, but even he feels like he's trying too hard here. This is just another example of a bad movie happening to a good cast.
Memorable Quote: "You won't know you're okay until you get there." - Sally (Margo Martindale)