Release Date: August 24th, 2007 (Landmark Sunshine Cinemas and AMC/Loews Lincoln Square) by The Weinstein Company.
The Cast: Billy Crudup, Mandy Moore, Tom Wilkinson, Martin Freeman, Dianne Wiest, Bob Balaban, Bobby Cannavale, Amy Sedaris, Peter Bogdanovich.
Directed by Justin Theroux.
BASIC PREMISE: When his long-time collaborator, Rudy (Wilkinson), dies, Henry (Crudup), a children’s book author, teams up with Lucy (Moore), an illustrator who falls in love with him.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Dedication boasts a breakthrough performance by Mandy Moore and a refreshingly invigorating plot with complex characters. Billy Crudup delivers a convincing performance as Henry, a misogynistic children’s book author whose best friend and collaborator, Rudy, recently died. Henry’s book publisher, Arthur (Balaban), gives him a few weeks to complete a new children’s book and secretly pays Lucy, a sexy illustrator, to inspire the completion. In many ways, it seems almost futile for Lucy to get along with Henry, who does everything in his ability to annoy, insult and anger her, especially in an uncomfortable scene at a diner. Screenwriter David Bromberg wisely allows their romantic relationship to blossom gradually with a few unexpected surprises and well-needed comic relief. Most importantly, he manages to bring Henry and Lucy to life as complex and interesting characters who you care about despite their flaws, which only makes them more human. Justin Theroux, in his directorial debut, includes a very impressive soundtrack and stylish editing to create a somewhat offbeat tone that feels quite refreshing and even lively. Finally there comes a film with Mandy Moore that doesn’t feel the least bit sappy, corny or irritating.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: The scenes with Henry and Lucy interacting feel surprisingly poignant and tender during the latter part of the second act. It’s especially moving to watch how they both come to terms with their past so that they can move on with their lives and become better—or at least, mentally stable—people.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Poignant, funny and oddly refreshing. An unforgettable indie gem. Mandy Moore gives the breakthrough performance of her career.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater.
The "D" Menu