Reese (Deschanel) is a disillusioned actress living an empty life in New York, trying not to acknowledge the fact that her mother has recently died and she hasn't seen her father, a reclusive, alcoholic, once-famous novelist, in years. Motivated by an editor's (Madigan) offer of big money for potential love letters written by her parents long ago, Reese reluctantly returns to Michigan to reconnect with her mislaid father. Upon her arrival she's greeted by Corbit (Ferrell), her father's spaced-out caretaker, and Shelly (Warner), who handles her father's business matters. Dancing between humor and affection, the characters all carefully paint a portrait of loneliness and awakening. However, that dance is often a little too slow. Inspired performances, especially in Ferrell's wise restraint.
Just OK....Maybe the screenplay F. Scott Fitzgerald never wrote? KHL at 2009-02-05 12:31:27
This movie, kind of like Lars and the Real Girl, blends drama with moments of comedy, and the overall effect is confusing and ultimately disappointing. Ed Harris and Zooey Deschanel are good in their respective screwed-up father-daughter roles, but the story is kind of plodding. This could have been more of a truly searing drama, if they hadn't interjected Will Ferrell's role as the goofy, weirdo man-servant to Ed Harris, who dropped out of a Christian rock band because they 'were going too ska'...!
The story is reminiscent of a sad F. Scott Fitzgerald story in many ways.