FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Review: The Answer Man

Could have been awful, but Daniels sells it well
By DAVID WILDMAN  |  September 14, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

 

Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels) is an author who claims to have talked to the Big Guy in the Sky, and he's written a bestselling book about the experience. At first, Faber seems a foul-mouthed, reclusive misanthrope; then he's shown to be a decent but flawed dude.

By the third act, of course, he finds redemption. Drawing him out into the real world are his chiropractor and love interest, quirky single mother Elizabeth (Gilmore Girl's Lauren Graham), and Kris (Lou Taylor Pucci), a freshly rehabbed bookstore owner.

The Answer Man could have been a sugary overdose of awful, but the performances are felt, and Daniels does a good job selling the wisecracking and wisdom of his character. First-time director/screenwriter John Hindman seems aware of how predictable his premise could be, and despite a plot hole or two, he's put together a smart script with likable characters and lively dialogue that subverts the obvious clichés.

  Topics: Reviews , Jeff Daniels, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DAVID WILDMAN
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: THE FOURTH KIND  |  November 04, 2009
    If the “actual footage” used in this film is real, then there’s something going on up in Alaska even more frightening than the rise of Sarah Palin.
  •   REVIEW: THE ANSWER MAN  |  September 14, 2009
    Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels) is an author who claims to have talked to the Big Guy in the Sky, and he's written a bestselling book about the experience.
  •   REVIEW: THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 (2009)  |  June 10, 2009
    This meticulously detailed update of the 1974 cult-favorite heist drama retains some of that film's taut pacing and dry humor, and it even boasts some decent performances.
  •   REVIEW: NEXT DAY AIR  |  May 06, 2009
    Wood Harris, so supremely menacing as Avon Barksdale in The Wire , plays Guch, a hood so boneheaded, he robs a bank but forget to take the money.
  •   REVIEW: FIGHTING  |  April 28, 2009
    Call this a guide to recognizing your sophomore slump. Dito Montiel won the Directing Award at Sundance with his autobiographical 2006 debut, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints , but that film had Robert Downey Jr. and Chazz Palminteri.

 See all articles by: DAVID WILDMAN