The Big Year
is such a gentle, warmly genial comedy that it almost feels like a relic from a more-innocent, less-cynical era. It’s a rare beast among movies that vie for audience attention by attempting to be the loudest, brashest, and raunchiest at the box office: a likable, PG-rated comedy that deals with some grown-up issues in a way that kids can easily digest, and subverts familiar plot elements enough to avoid becoming too predictable for adult viewers. Even so, it’s hard to determine exactly who the filmmakers had in mind as their target audience while making The Big Year
, but perhaps that’s part of the reason why it’s so difficult to simply dism...