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answer man
Click for full sized poster

The Answer Man

Starring Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham, Lou Taylor Pucci and Nora Dunn
Based on
Written and Directed by John Hindman
website: http://www.answermanmovie.com/

IN SHORT: Is it Good? Answer is, "It's just OK". [Rated R for language. 95 minutes]

And God didst speak unto Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels), providing answers to various questions about Life and the Meaning of Life and Other Stuff. And so didst Arlen Faber write the second greatest book known to mankind: "Me & God" which hath sold 40 millions of copies in 100 different languages. And thus being spoken unto and having written, Arlen Faber didst take the money and run, pulling a disappearing act akin to the one JD Salinger did after writing "The Catcher in the Rye". He has not been seen in twenty years.

The fifty year old Faber doesn't answer letters or phone calls or make personal appearances. His  agent, Terry Fraser (Nora Dunn) spends most of her time fending off requests for the like but, as the twentieth anniversary of the book's publication approaches, those calls have become a torrent. What Fraser cannot do is protect her client from an inquisitive and star struck mailman (Tony Hale) to whom Faber lies through his teeth about his identity, as best he can.

Faber's only real problem is a bad pack, which he has pretty much ignored getting treated, until the day came on which said problem could not be ignored any longer. So Faber seeks out chiropractor Elizabeth Clanson (Lauren Graham) for help. While he feels  an immediate attraction for the doc, he has learned to ignore such interest (being famous and all, everyone wants to kiss up dontchaknow?). When it becomes apparent that Elizabeth has no idea who "Arlen Faber" is, Faber's emotional wheels start spinning for the first time in years. Elizabeth's assistant, Anne (Olivia Thirlby), brings her boss lady into the loop and Elizabeth makes sure to drop into a local store, "The Book Trader,"  to pick up a copy of Faber's opus. This brings bookstore owner Kris Lucas (Lou Taylor Pucci) and his alcoholic father (Thomas Roy) into the story. As we first meet, Kris has just finished a month long rehab program and is taking his first steps back into the world. That he lives with a father who still drinks to the max isn't  going to be helpful.

And finally we mention Elizabeth's seven  year old son, Alex (Max Antisell). He's a bright student, though his math needs help. Mom still hasn't explained to the boy that his dad has abandoned them both, but the kid sort of figures it out. That Faber and the kidlet bond -- he attends a parent/teacher meeting at the Robert Frost elementary school -- helps bring Faber out of his emotional hidey hole.

But it all comes together at the bookstore, about to close due to financial problems. The Answer Man comes to the rescue; it isn't hard to see it coming and the film, overall, moves quickly enough that you get t through it all without squirming in your seat.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Answer Man, he would have paid . . .


A light and fluffy film. Rent.

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