The Muppets (2011) - M7.8/E7
I know it's bad to go into a movie with any expectations. Doing so can ruin the overall experience and limit the ability to fairly assess it. I had seen most of the older Muppet movies and remember enjoying them. From what I heard this was the Muppet of all Muppet movies, and I probably agree. I enjoyed the movie, but was anticipating something a little more amazing than it actually was. For one, it wasn't meant to be amazing, it was meant to be entertaining, and it was.
Thinking on back on some of the random songs sung through out (Muppet of a Man/Manly Muppet was great) and the interactive humor with the audience (pretty well done, considering that it wasn't performed live!) make me smile. Though, my younger preschool age kids didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did, I think there was enough slapstick humor and music for them to at least not dislike the film.
The overall plot of the movie (trying to bring the Muppets out of obscurity and back into the 21st century) seemed a little contrived, but from what I remember from other Muppet movies, not too far off from previous stories.
One interesting element in the story was the relationship difficulties between Gary and Mary and Kermit and Piggy - definitely over the head of preschoolers, and possibly a little too sentimental/emotional for my liking. The film does try to do a decent job showing that when you know you love someone, it's foolish to let them leave your life. Staying together means sacrificing some of your interests and desires and putting the interests and desires of your loved one above yours. Interestingly, you don't lose your identity by doing this, you put faith in someone else to do it for you, which can do nothing but increase their love and concern for you.
Beyond romantic relationships, friendship is also brought up as we see Kermit and Walter try to round up the old Muppet gang and find out that they all wanted to be back together again, they just needed someone to initiate the process.
I'm not sure how much longer this will be in the theater, but I definitely recommend looking for it to come out on DVD, and then make an effort to at least rent it, it's 98 minutes of well spent time.