6.4/10
6,111
28 user 58 critic

The Answer Man (2009)

Arlen Faber (original title)
Trailer
2:34 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A reclusive author of spiritual books is pursued for advice by a single mother and a man fresh out of rehab.

Director:

John Hindman

Writer:

John Hindman
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Daniels ... Arlen Faber
Lauren Graham ... Elizabeth
Lou Taylor Pucci ... Kris Lucas
Olivia Thirlby ... Anne
Kat Dennings ... Dahlia
Nora Dunn ... Terry Fraser
Tony Hale ... Mailman
Annie Corley ... Mrs. Gold
Max Antisell ... Alex
Thomas Roy Thomas Roy ... Riley Lucas
Peter Patrikios ... Ross
Greg Wood ... Businessman #1
Richard Lyntton ... Journalist
Richard Barlow ... Paul
Sally Mercer Sally Mercer ... Customer
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Storyline

Everyone wants to meet Arlen Faber, the world famous author of the best-selling spiritual book "Me and God," but crotchety, disgruntled Arlen simply wants to be left alone - and so far he's been successful in keeping his identity a secret. But all that changes when troubled bookstore owner Kris Lucas discovers his home address and barters books for Arlen's words of wisdom, and a back injury leads the reclusive writer to begin dating chiropractor and overprotective single mother Elizabeth. As Arlen's relationships with his newfound friends begin to grow, he must come to terms with his past and the realization that he doesn't hold all the answers. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He wrote the book on life's big questions. But the truth is he hasn't got a clue.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 December 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dream of the Romans See more »

Filming Locations:

Greensboro, North Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,998, 26 July 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$25,589, 9 August 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2007 Blacklist; a list of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. See more »

Goofs

When Arlen first tries to sell books to the bookstore he is taking a different number to or from the cart or counter each time the camera leaves and returns to his character (takes two but has three and visa versa). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Arlen Faber: We would like to do a full exposé on Arlen Faber. It would coincide with the 20th anniversary release of Me and God. People want to read this story. I've read Me and God twelve times, for Christ's sake!
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Connections

Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.114 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Wait Too Long
Written by Madeleine Peyroux, Jesse Harris and Larry Klein
Performed by Madeleine Peyroux
Courtesy of Rounder Records
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User Reviews

 
Not "As Good as it Gets"
27 July 2010 | by TamPalmSee all my reviews

This movie tries really hard to be a repeat of "As Good as it Gets," but it comes up short. In fact, this movie is not as good as it gets and could have been a lot better. All of the pieces are there: sound cast, clever story line, good pacing. But the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

I always enjoy watching Daniels and even though this movie is way out of his norm to the point that it takes a minute to get used to seeing him in this character, he pretty much pulls it off. His romantic lead is also a good fit and their chemistry is pleasant. I appreciated the realistic nature of the courtship too ie they didn't jump in the sack at first glance which seems to be norm in most movies. Their courtship is cute, predictable at times, but not at others (like when she's shown to have taken his advice with his son and he's shown to have taken her advice with his hobby, although neither verbally address this.) In fact, I found each character in this movie rather appealing.

That said, there could have been more. Maybe the movie could have been longer or something, not sure, but something could have and should have been done to flesh out the characters more. We're only shown very surface level stuff even of the main character and that inhibits you from fully caring about the characters and fully buying into their individual stories.

I also found the ending somewhat unnerving. If the ultimate lesson is not supposed to be "God is not real," the filmmakers failed. If that is the lesson they tried to teach, the movie fails because the whole crux of the movie until the end is basically "lessons from God." Basically, the movie could have been more than just another Hollywood swipe at religion, but the ending makes it feel like that's what it was ultimately meant to be in which case you feel cheated for having watched the movie and invested in the story to whatever extent that was possible.

Verdict: Good movie to watch on TV like I did, but keep your expectations low or nonexistent.

6/10


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