Anyone expecting this film to be 'wacky' or laugh-out-loud funny is going to be disappointed. However, it's a pleasant movie that keeps one's interest to the end.
Essentially, it's the story of a young man (Ben Stiller) who travels across America looking for his 'real' parents. (He was adopted as a baby.) Accompanying him are his wife (Patricia Arquette) from whom he's recently become a little estranged following the birth of their first child, and an attractive young single woman from the Adoption Agency (Tea Leoni.) One doesn't have to be Einstein to work out what happens next...
What gives the film its charm are the performances from the three main characters. Leoni is the best, exuding a combination of nervousness and gawky sexuality. Arquette is good as a 'smug married' who, without knowing it, has begun to let herself go a little bit, and Stiller plays a difficult role to perfection - a man who doesn't really know who he is or what he wants from life. Cute, but not wimpish.
Unfortunately, some of the supporting characters appear to have wandered in by mistake from a Woody Allen film. Alan Alda appears to be sleep-walking and Mary Tyler Moore plays a particulalarly annoying Jewish American mother.
The main problem with this film is the script. The ending is hurried and somehow unsatisfactory. One gets the feeling the writers came up with an interesting storyline and some good characters, but then didn't really know what to do with them. And they should have included a few more jokes.
This movie is good for a quiet night in. I don't think, however, it'll make it onto anyone's list of All-Time Favourites.