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Yes, this is a romantic comedy, but don't hold that against it. The story centers around Henry (Crudup), a successful children's book writer who finds his inspiration for a beaver story in a porno theater, is truly something of a jerk-off, and has a tendency to place heavy objects on his body when he's feeling anxious. After his longtime illustrator and collaborator, Rudy (Tom Wilkinson), suddenly dies, his publisher, played by the always-dependable Bob Balaban (who's appeared in every one of Christopher Guest's films), pairs him up with Lucy (Moore). From here, you can pretty much predict what happens: Lucy wears down his crusty demeanor through a mixture of sass, spunk, and sweetness as the two retreat to the Hamptons to work on a book Henry must finish in time for Christmas in order to avoid facing a tremendous lawsuit.
The clichés that Theroux and screenwriter David Bromber employ are sometimes cringe-inducing (Henry and Lucy first meet by literally running into each other in an office), and sometimes successful. An indie rock soundtrack is nothing new in the world of 30-something romantic comedy, but the selection of artists like Cat Power, Au Revoir Simone, and Deerhoof are a refreshing breath of air when faced with the prospect of using the Shins yet again. But it's really Crudup who gives the film some life, despite the weird Eddie Munster haircut he's sporting. Crudup is an actor who always comes across as relaxed and natural, even when given the task of reciting a list of - or actually acting out - his borderline OCD personality traits, which could easily veer towards the world of cutesy quirk. Theroux seems comfortable and confident behind the camera, although he could have done without the kooky little edits he employs in Henry's fantasy sequences. It would be nice, however, to see him tackle some less conventional material in his next endeavor, as this film feels far too obvious in many aspects. That being said, the aforementioned Zach Braff could learn a thing or two from watching Dedication, and those with the ability to stomach sentimentality won't be disappointed either. SEE ALSO: www.dedicationmovie.net
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.
See other articles by Jonah Flicker.
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