Written and directed by John Hindman, The Answer Man (aka Arlen Faber) is a romance comedy centered around Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels), a successful author whose book "God and Me" has defined a generation of spiritual thinkers. Daniels plays opposite Lauren Graham, who plays a stressed single mom named Elizabeth trying to start a chiropractor business, and Lou Taylor Pucci, who plays a recovering alcoholic (Kris Lucas) with a failing bookstore.
I went into this movie having never seen a trailer or even hearing of the movie. That said, I enjoy romance comedies in general when they are novel and not cliché. So is The Answer Man the answer for this man? Not really. It's got its comedic moments, its dramatic moments, and lots of other moments, but in the end, I found it rather predictable and not altogether unique.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy the movie. It's a solid romance comedy where pretty much get what you expect. Pucci's part in the movie allows us to get away from the main romance story-line at times, but his story as well is a bit played out. The actors do a good job, though, and really define their characters well, especially Jeff Daniels (whom I hadn't seen in many other roles other than his Dumb and Dumber role). He plays part well as the "reclusive author" who everyone turns to for answers, yet he has none of his own.
Toss in a cute kid for the "aww" factor and you've got The Answer Man. Overall I felt it was just a movie and I knew that the entire time; I never really got engrossed in it. I'd recommend seeing it, but if you're not dying to see it in the theatre, it may be worth waiting for the DVD. Oh, one thing that really bothered me is its R rating. There's no violence, nudity, sexual references, or anything remotely worthy of an R rating, yet there it stands "Rated R for language." Sorry, the MPAA rating system just irks me sometimes.