A thirty-something preschool teacher looks to the personals for a change of pace and a relationship, with hilarious results.


Claire Cook (novel), Gary David Goldberg (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Diane Lane ... Sarah
John Cusack ... Jake
Elizabeth Perkins ... Carol
Christopher Plummer ... Bill
Dermot Mulroney ... Bob
Stockard Channing ... Dolly
Ali Hillis ... Christine
Brad William Henke ... Leo
Julie Gonzalo ... June
Glenn Howerton ... Michael
Ben Shenkman ... Charlie
Jordana Spiro ... Sherry
Kirk Trutner ... Deli Guy
Victor Webster ... Eric
Michael Spound ... Marc


Preschool teacher Sarah Nolan (Diane Lane), divorced for eight months, is still grieving the end of her marriage. Although she didn't see it as being perfect, she probably would have stuck it out as what she saw as the "for better or worse" obligation of the wedding vows, that is if her ex-husband, Kevin, didn't end it for what ended up being leaving her for a younger woman. She is urged by her over-supportive family, comprised of her many siblings, their partners, and her widowed father, to get back into the dating scene, something she has been reluctant to do in not feeling ready. As such, her most proactive sister in the matter, Carol (Elizabeth Perkins), sets her up on an Internet dating site. Within her less than prepared state, Sarah does go along with meeting men by the means offered to her. Beyond especially her female siblings, Sarah is given unique perspectives on the whole issue of dating and commitment by her father, Bill (Christopher Plummer), who is exploring dating ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dating | dog | teacher | date | blind date | See All (78) »


The hardest trick is making them stay.


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


When Sarah Nolan (Diane Lane) and Bob Connor (Dermot Mulroney) bump into each other at the dog park, there is a table set up with an animal rescue group called "Animal Avengers". This is a real rescue group founded by Shannon Elizabeth. See more »


When Dolly is showing Sarah her multiple personalities on different matchmaking web sites, her computer screen shows an Apple Mac OS X desktop. Then she goes on and tells Sarah how her computer is working for her 24 hours a day "God bless its little Pentium-chip heart". Apple Mac OS X did not run on Intel Pentium computers when the movie was filmed. See more »


[first lines]
Rebecca: The best place to meet a guy is at the supermarket. You don't need to waste a lot of time there, either. You see a guy holding a list, you know he's married. He's in the frozen food section carrying a small basket, he's single. I like to hang out by fruits and vegetables, there's a better chance of getting a guy who's healthy.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, two Newfoundlands are shown, with the following caption: "No animals were harmed during the filming of this movie. Though we were petted within an inch of our lives." See more »


Referenced in Man Seeking Woman: Cactus (2016) See more »


Lara's Theme
Music by Maurice Jarre
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User Reviews

Mr Kite Somersaults
20 June 2007 | by tedgSee all my reviews

There are only a few ways to mess up a Date Movie, because the form is so rigid and expectations so very low.

You can either just mess up on the basic film-making, and produce a film that has no effect. Or you can walk through the formula competently but with primary actors that are either unappealing to us or each other.

I think this has both failures. I'll focus on just one small bit, John Cusack. The man fascinates me as a performer. Its a challenge to see just where he fits.

I think you should always judge actors by whether what they do works. There's a large question of embodiment, which for me has a dual reality: how the actor brings his/her own body and soul to the character (which is to say the project if the elements are aligned); and how the actor in that embodiment understands the soul (intent, urge) of the project and thus supports it. There are more actors that can do the first than have mattered the second, I think.

As with most actors, Cusack has strength in one form, where he's playing a character who plays a character (usually one addicted to speedy, quirky phrases) and in doing so, he extends that self-awareness to the audience. So when he zips a quip in the movie, that quip is designed to serve some narrative need, to satisfy the character that he is in control in defining or pressing the narrative, and at the same time noodling off to the side with the audience, turning verbal somersaults to amuse us.

Its amazingly effective and carries from one film to another so that when he appears in "Identity" or "Fidelity" or "Malkovich" we willingly accept layered identity. That special relationship with the audience can be leveraged to provide appeal for date movies. I thought Cusack was effective in "Serendipity" and "Grosse Point."

But this is different. The filmmaker is so incompetent and the script so thin that the whole thing collapses. Into this, Cusack completely rewrote all his lines to see if he could overwhelm the void and pull through with charm. Others have done so. But he has no collaborators. Diane Lane can appeal, but she modulates around skills she has that have to do with projecting prettiness. When she's emotionally torn, for instance, what she works on is a deviation of prettiness. She just doesn't understand what Cusack is doing, and obviously neither does the director.

So the two live in different worlds. The critics see this as "lack of chemistry," an essential quality of the form. Really what they mean is that the two actors present distinct souls that live in each other (perhaps as accident) with nearly every motion building structure in each other. Its something different than "love" which is being sold and more of shared souls.

The story has so many unexplored threads its almost a case study in scriptwriting. One that is of a type that interests me is the "story" that individuals create (and believe) about who they are. The dating site business here starts some of this and never sustains it. Like the disastrous dates, and some "interviews" they are just an opportunity for comic episodes.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.

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English | Armenian

Release Date:

29 July 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Must Love Dogs See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,855,321, 31 July 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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