JP Devine Movie Review: ‘The Answer Man’
First off, who doesn’t love Jeff Daniels? He never scored in anything he took, from “Terms of Tenderness” to “Radio Days” to Woody Allen and from “Purple Rose of Cairo” to “Godless”.
Here Jeff is like Arlen Faber, the author of a self-help spiritual guide, “Me and God”. It hit the bestseller list 20 years ago, grabbed a worldwide audience, and made it millions.
Then Faber pulled a JD Salinger, and disappeared into a luxurious brown stone somewhere in the concrete jungle, and closed the world off.
These days he starts his morning in meditation with recorded music, incense and chimes. But when interrupted by someone, especially the postman, he snaps out of his Deepak Chopra trance and screams six pages of profanity like an injured truck driver.
We get to know this Arlen by following him to his painstakingly designed apartment while he has his coffee and records an Ella Fitzgerald record. Suddenly, without warning, his back spasmed and he fell to the ground in pain.
He kicks his phone open, but unable to arouse the mercy of his abused editor, he crawls out the door, onto the sidewalk and, be prepared for it, crawls three or four blocks away. , through traffic, on all fours for Elizabeth, a neighborhood chiropractor (the charming Lauren Graham of “Gilmore Girls” and “Bad Santa”) who manipulates him to get him back in shape.
Dr. Elizabeth is young and clearly doesn’t know who this strange guy is, but Anne, (Olivia Thirlby from indie hit “Juno”), her receptionist, does.
Then begins a sweet and complicated romance with Liz, who has a beloved troubled grandson Alex (Max Antisell) and opens Arlen’s door to the outside world, where her devoted fans seem to have waited for her return.
If you think this is an amazing stretch, I suggest you check out the true story of JD Salinger, whose “Catcher In The Rye” made his fans wait even longer. Salinger, unfortunately, never returned.
Enter Kris (Lou Taylor Pucci from “Thumbsucker” and “You” from Netflix) a young alcoholic loser, who is on the verge of losing his little bookstore, where he always kept Arlen’s book in stock. Kris will help move the story forward.
Written and directed by John Hindman of “La La Land”, the plot has a few imperfect moments and details, but not everyone likes stories?
You may notice that this often tends to remind you of the OCD artist of Jack Nicholson (“As Good as it Gets”) and the inadequacy of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail” by Nora Ephron. . How bad is that?
“The Answer Man” is now streaming on Netflix.
JP Devine review: ‘Rotten’