One can see the scaffolding of a better, subtler, more complex movie beneath this thinly woven, ill-structured version. Where to start? Perhaps the travesty of casting Garcia as an uptight, fuddy-duddy surgeon, a misuse of the great actor if there ever was one. And then there's the equally talented Farmiga, who marinates her entire performance in exaggerated effort, wringing it almost entirely, save for a few exceptions, of nuance. It's criminal, actually, especially considering the two have chemistry. (That's what saves it from being a complete wipeout. That and the basic plot, which has so much potential.)
But it's lost here amid the feckless dialogue -- feckless being a word that appears in the script often, at first in a witty flourish and, later, as a symbol of At Middleton's actual fecklessness -- and strange tonal shifts. It starts off goofy and improves much too late when it stops trying too hard to be funny and allows its themes -- the alienation parents can face when their children prepare to leave for college, among them -- to gain traction. One can see the scaffolding of a better, subtler, more complex movie beneath this thinly woven, ill-structured version. A shame it couldn't show up at Middleton.