The Answer Man (Arlen Faber) (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Answer Man (Arlen Faber)2009

The Answer Man (Arlen Faber) (2009)



Critic Consensus: The Answer Man takes an interesting premise and overloads it with implausible scenarios, indie comedy cliches, and an all-too-familiar story arc that only occasionally benefits from its typically capable actors.

The Answer Man (Arlen Faber) Photos

Movie Info

The reclusive author whose groundbreaking book redefined spirituality for an entire generation realizes how little he actually knows upon being approached by a single mother and a recovering addict in this drama from first time writer/director John Hindman. It's been 20 years since Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels) penned "Me and God," and the inspirational, soul-searching book is still as popular as ever. Anyone who reads it thinks that Arlen has all the answers to life's problems, but these days the author barely ventures outside of the house. Then, one day, Arlen crosses paths with Elizabeth (Lauren Graham), a single mother struggling to raise her seven-year-old son, and Kris (Lou Taylor Pucci), a young man who has just gotten out of rehab. Both are searching for the answers that will help them to become better people while overcoming their fears of failure. Does Arlen possess the wisdom to help Elizabeth and Kris work through their current problems, or is he really as clueless as he's been feeling for the last two decades?

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Jeff Daniels
as Arlen Faber
Lauren Graham
as Elizabeth
Lou Taylor Pucci
as Kris Lucas
Nora Dunn
as Terry Fraser
Annie Corley
as Mrs. Gold
Tony Hale
as Mailman
Richard Lyntton
as Journalist
Thomas Roy
as Mr. Lucas
Lauren Jacobs
as Young Girl
Sally Mercer
as Customer
Greg Wood
as Businessman #1
David Mulholland
as Male Customer
Bev Appleton
as Patient
Ginny Graham
as Singing Grandmother
Sandra Landers
as Singing Wife
Sylvia Kauders
as Old Woman
Morgan Turner
as Singing Daughter
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Critic Reviews for The Answer Man (Arlen Faber)

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (27)

The Answer Man is reaching for something but never quite grasps it.

April 12, 2016 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

While The Answer Man has a meandering pace and ultimately goes precisely where you think it will, first-timer Hindman makes the journey pleasant among these literate and interesting folk.

August 27, 2009 | Rating: 3/4

Thanks to a stupendously inept finale it ends up going nowhere, and by the time it fades to black the only question I had was what could have potentially been changed to salvage it.

August 14, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

These are FATAL flaws in the screenplay -- not rooting for the romance to work and not rooting for the lead to find redemption. I wanted God to strike Arlen Faber down in the street.

August 7, 2009 | Full Review…

How much more interesting is a film like (500) Days of Summer, which is about the complexities of life, in comparison with this one, which cheerfully cycles through the cliches.

August 6, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The Answer Man is a perfect example of an Intelligent Bad Movie, easy to take, promising along the way ... And then things start to go wrong.

July 31, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Answer Man (Arlen Faber)


A soft spoken and fine romantic comedy about a guy who wrote a what becomes a best-selling novel about talking to God and now lives in tremulous fear that his legions of fans will discover him a fraud ... until he meets a woman who changes his life. Fine performances tie together this family friendly (except for the occasional slipped oath) and well written story of redemption through trusting ... people.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Nice little movie. I enjoyed it. Nothing amazing happens in it, but it is very watchable and has a great cast including Lauren Graham and Lou Taylor Pucci. The lives of a few people cross including a chiropractor (Lauren Graham), a grumpy writer (Jeff Daniels) and a guy recently out of rehab (Lou Taylor Pucci). All are dealing with issues in their day to day lives. Funny and moving.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

I'm usually very scepticle of my mothers taste in movies, but she insisted I watch this movie. The plot is interesting, but it stole many elements from "As Good as it Gets". The story revolves around a writer who became famous for writing a book about how he could talk to God and the answers he got, a chiropractor who loves her son more then anything in the world, and the alchoholic owner of a book store who is struggling through hard times and just needs answers. If you're at the movie store with your girlfriend, and you see it there, and they have no copies of "{500} Days of Summer" left, get this movie. I almost cried at the end. Thats saying a lot because I have only cried watching 5 movies in my life. The very best part of this film though, is the answers. The book store owner makes a deal with the writer to take books for answers to questions. The answers that this writer comes up with are the best answers to questions I've ever heard. This film may be recycled material, but the thinking is fresh. If you need to watch a movie that makes you think, rent this movie.

Anders Gatten
Anders Gatten

Super Reviewer

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