Nick Kroll is a pretty big deal in New York City until his Google-glassish innovation goes busto and he loses all his money and all the money of his so-called friends, so he seeks solace by retreating to the icky suburbs and his childhood home in New Rochelle, NY, currently inhabited by his harried sister (Rose Byrne), her swarthy, down-to-earth home builder husband (Bobby Cannavale) and their charmless 3 year old boy. There, Nick becomes intertwined in their lives, much like Bill Hader in The Skeleton Twins, who went home to Nyack, NY after a trauma. Kroll discovers Cannavale is having an affair, much like Hader’s sister Kristen Wiig in The Skeleton Twins. Coincidentally, in The Skeleton Twins, Wiig was cheating on her husband Luke Wilson, who was also a blue collar guy, just like Cannavale.
Crazily, Kroll reveals the fact of the affair to Byrne, again, like Hader to Wilson in The Skeleton Twins. And that results in a heartfelt discussion about how Kroll ran out when their mother was dying of cancer, and the discussion is reminiscent of the recriminations and regrets of Hader and Wiig about their father, also dead by suicide. In The Skeleton Twins.
For a few easy laughs, the town is populated by faintly ridiculous folk from high school who Kroll can look down upon. Much like Hader in The Skeleton Twins. And there are places that inexplicably have Christmas lights up even though it is not Christmas. Just like the town in The Skeleton Twins.
And Kroll grows, growth which is signaled by the fact he chooses the welfare of his sister’s son over his new job.
Just like James Caan in Elf.
Torture that at its best is mildly diverting.