6.4/10
6,147
28 user 58 critic

The Answer Man (2009)

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

Gross USA:

$26,676

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,676
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

After Arlen puts the 45 record on, he jostles the stereo when he has his first back spasm. The needle clearly bounces off of the record but the music continues playing. After he falls to the floor, a close up of the record still playing is shown. 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!
See more »

Connections

References Clash of the Titans (1981) 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
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable and different

I usually don't write reviews but rather I usually read them to see if the film is something I truly want to watch or not. But given the one, and only, poor review on here so far I thought I'd add some perspective.

This film centers around Arlen, who is a irritable man who once authored an existential book but now lives in recluse and away from prying eyes. His character I find fully believable because there are many people who write a book or several books but don't want the fame handed them, they just simply wanted to write a good story or get their thoughts out, the fame was mere collateral damage. This is how Jeff Daniel's character feels. He dislikes people and attention in general. Partially due to not wanting the fame but partially due to having his own personal demons and issues. Along comes a struggling chiropractor who is trying to get her own business going and also a struggling recovering alcoholic who is trying to keep his small bookstore open. Their paths converge in various ways, of which I won't tell to leave some mystery to the reader. The chiropractor (Lauren Graham) eventually becomes Arlen's romantic interest. But it is not a simple or easy relationship and I don't feel that Arlen makes a magical unbelievable change as the prior review states. He is at first softened by her professional expertise and out of appreciation seems to let a door open and try to get to know her. I'd say him liking her son, and kids in general it seems, is part of his character. I would also say his character opens up to the bookstore owner (Pucci) because he is honest and persistent, things Arlen admires. Everyone has their demons and flaws in this movie which I feel add a certain honesty to the film. It didn't feel particularly flawed or predictable. Although there are a couple turn points and their consequences that felt predictable but in all I'd say it wasn't that predictable because of the characters not being formulaic. I thought the pacing was in general nice and enjoyable. If you want a dark comedy that becomes a bit lighter and romantic then this is for you. I'd say its a bit smarter and more enjoyable then most of the made for rudimentary teens romantic teens out there. Take this review at what you will but please read this and the prior for a more balanced view point of the film.


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