Jason Segel co-writes and stars in this romantic comedy, and with Judd Apatow producing and Nicholas Stoller directing (also cohorts on Forgetting Sarah Marshall), the kn*b gags come guaranteed. But their skill is in being able to yank on the heartstrings too, despite the crude humour.
Emily Blunt is also a great catch for Segel, charming and funny with mercifully fewer neuroses than Apatow's usual leading ladies. She plays Violet, a psychology student with ambitions in academia who is chalk to his gourmet cheese - Tom is a talented sous-chef at a San Francisco restaurant.
After a cutely clichéd meeting at a New Year's fancy dress party, Tom proposes against a moonlit backdrop. But what should be a romantic whirlwind becomes a slow tumble-dry with events conspiring to throw them off course, gradually sapping the excitement from their relationship.
Initially, Violet doesn't want to be upstaged by her sister (Alison Brie) who gets a bun in the oven courtesy of Tom's boorish colleague (a brilliantly deadpan Chris Pratt) at her engagement party. But conflicting career plans prove the biggest hurdle for Tom and Violet in getting down the aisle.
It's a very modern dilemma and Segel and Stoller show the distance between Tom and Violet steadily increasing, even as they inhabit the same space. A scene where Tom demands to be alone, but refuses to let Violet leave the bed crystallises their problem in a way that's funny and true.
Of course, the comedy isn't always so subtle. After being forced to move to the Midwest, Tom's manhood comes under threat and he devolves; growing lots of hair and hunting deer in the woods. But it doesn't feel like self-indulgence, because he throws himself into depression with such gusto.
Rhys Ifans chucks another spanner in the works, playing Violet's smooth-talking professor with scientific precision, but the couple's inevitable separation is a sticking point for the film as well. The rapport between Segel and Blunt is key and when they're not onscreen together, the time drags.
Fortunately, Tom and Violet are so vividly realised by this point that you'll be happy to stick with them through a rough patch. Also featured in this section is Blunt's uncanny impression of the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street; a hilarious attempt to disguise her anger in front of children.
Rarely does a minute go by without a cheeky laugh or a wry bit of observation. Segel and Stoller have a keen feel for where life often gets in the way of our dreams and though the ending is a bit twee, it does offer a different, pleasingly imperfect vision of happily ever after.