Average (learn more)
2009 (click here to see all competition films from this year)
Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham, Lou Taylor Pucci, Olivia Thirlby, Kat Dennings, Nora Dunn
John Hindman, John Hindman, Rachel Cohen, Stephen Hays, Peter Graham, Michael Lesser, Kevin Messick, Jana Edelbaum, Rebecca Rivo, Deborah Aquila, Oliver Bokelberg, Jerry Greenberg, Alex DiGerlando
Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels) is the reclusive author of Me and God, a book that has redefined spirituality for an entire generation. On the eve of the twentieth anniversary of his still-wildly-popular book, Arlen continues to be sought after as the man with all the answers. Then his life collides with those of Elizabeth (Lauren Graham), a single mom raising her seven-year-old son, and Kris (Lou Taylor Pucci), a young man fresh out of rehab who is searching for meaning. Both Elizabeth and Kris are hopeful that Arlen has answers for them, but the truth is, he hasn't got a clue.In Arlen Faber, writer/director John Hindmans dialogue is clever and insightful but not enough to eclipse the underlying sweetness of his film. He brings together an eccentric group of characters and allows them to work their way through this unique and ultimately inspiring story. It helps that the talented cast has an engaging chemistry that draws us into their cinematic lives. The emotional walls between our main characters are highbut not insurmountable, so the pleasure is in watching them try to get over them. If romance gives Arlen Faber its heart, then its spine is the things that make life complicated heroes that let us down, life not giving us what we deserve, and fame not being all it's cracked up to be.
John Cooper (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)