Who's In It: Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham

The Basics: He's a bitter, neurotic, extremely popular yet reclusive author of a hokey best-seller about talking to God and getting actual answers in return (which is sort of what you get when you tell people you've got a hotline to the creator of the universe, so it's hard to feel sorry for him and his tastefully furnished townhouse). She's a chiropractor and holistic healer battling her own anxieties. Together they spend a lot of time trying to out-dull each other in the hopes that their New Age romance will turn into something more interesting than watching someone have their spinal column realigned.

What's The Deal: Here's a mysterious movie problem. Jeff Daniels? Totally appealing. Lauren Graham? Totally appealing. He's funny. She's funny. Strong personalites both. Together you want them to go down that Gilmore Girls-ish snappy-dialogue route and quirk you into laugh-submission and a few human truths along the way. But that ain't on the menu. Instead, there are way too many earnest attempts at heartfelt warmth and understanding of the role we all play in the universe, how we shape our own destinies, how we nurse people who resist being nursed and what do to do when your own worst emotional enemy is yourself. And it's all so flat and lifeless and TV movie-ready that I simply could not have cared less.

Best Part: When Graham comes to Daniels' home (he Salinger-esquely never receives visitors) and opens a cabinet containing his collection of vintage monster action figures. Then she touches one, takes it out of the case and places it on a piano. He freaks out and can't even kiss her until the monster is returned to its specially chosen spot. It's this nice moment of OCD trumping horniness that could have been a jumping-off point for a really weird plot turn, a second-act descent into strange personality disorders. But then it's over and the blandness washes back over the movie like room temperature milk.

To Be Fair: It's kindhearted. It's not gross. (Because that movie is called The Ugly Truth.) It dares to be about people who spend a lot of time talking about the silence of God--and now that Ingmar Bergman is dead and not making films, someone should pick up that torch. It's just not compelling enough to take its subject matter and run somewhere bold.


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