If you accidentally tripped across the movie (like I did), then you would have been one amazed person getting out of the theatre with a broad and silly smile. If you are watching it after all the hype there are some solid stereotypes that you might find. After all, with a dysfunctional family from USA, we have quite literally seen it all. In that respect, having the little girl in there, who is as refreshing as a… well, a little girl, there is enough scope for the other stereotypes to swing around and come out winning.
The humor really catches on by the time you are right at the end of the movie and you are laughing out loud with great cackling sounds and cheering the whole team on. The look of the film on the whole is completely faithful to its story, setting etc, in that way an excellent job done and oh so nice to see. There are perhaps only a couple of visual metaphors to be found but they are quite powerful. And Steve Carell, Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin are such a joy to watch. The sister brother pair of Toni Colette and Steve Carell (in the film) bring a large amount of groundedness to a film that could have otherwise veered out into the absurd.
A great fun ride, with that right amount of thoughtfulness. Brings up issues of a contemporary suburban America, obesity, consumerism, competition and so on while not alienating you as an audience ever.
Has a slight whiff of The Royal Tenenbaums, just in case you need anything to swing by.