I don't recall ever hearing about this movie. Perhaps it was too steeped in 60's attitude for today's audiences. If so that is truly a shame because that probably means today's young people are too far removed from the era to understand it well. In today's world that is a great loss. If we could live as hippies attempted to back then, we'd be far closer to mitigating climate change than we are now and a large part of that lifestyle was the attitude. This movie captures that attitude beautifully.
Laura Ramsey as Angela, the young hippie step-mother, brought back memories for me about women who actually existed in those years, who would float through life elevating everyone around them like some magical earthbound angel. I suppose nowadays she seems implausible. But back then she was very possible and meeting someone like her was unforgettable. Ms Ramsey's depiction captures the type in a way I haven't seen done in a very long time. It was a pleasure to reacquaint myself with the woman she represents. In a lot of ways those flower children were more affecting than anyone I've met since.
The idea of the film apparently is to bring some of that ethos into the present. The two main leads, Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis, have no problem evoking the era and they do a splendid job. I thought both brought the right mix of humor and pathology to their parts. They seemed to understand what the movie was trying to convey, and they were quite successful for people like me. What's surprising is that younger people apparently don't get it and I don't quite understand why they wouldn't.
Amy Poehler is also in the movie but in an unattractive role. I still appreciated her contribution to the mix in what seemed like a risky departure from her usual performance.
The story revolves around two friends, pretty much drifting through life who end up supporting each other through the trauma of having one's well-off father die. That death spurs them both to grow up a bit though the transition is not easy for them. The movie is set in farm country where Amish live and coincidentally I live in that sort of country myself. It was actually a bit of a treat to see them carry on in such a setting.
I enjoyed the movie very much, understand its point completely and am really bummed to find out that very few others enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone familiar with that era (it's actually set in the present) and not hostile to it. Believe me from my point of view it is far more your loss than mine that this movie wasn't as praised as it should have been.