Lou Taylor Pucci is the third young cast member in Answer Man. He is, in fact, much too young to both manage a bookstore and be a recovering alcoholic, but that is what he does. He is desperately seeking answers, which brings us to our protagonist: Arlen Faber, played by Jeff Daniels.
The actual stars of Answer Man are Daniels and Lauren Graham. To be fair, Jeff Daniels is terrific in the lead role, playing a cranky writer who hides from the world after achieving mega success with a series of spiritual books that help ordinary people connect to God. Daniels does cranky incredibly well -- as he proved so wonderfully in Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale . He's also a fine leading man, and if you need reminding, I highly recommend a return to Woody Allen's Purple Rose of Cairo, which is always a pleasure.
When the film begins, it's the twentieth anniversary of Faber's groundbreaking book. His agent (Nora Dunn) is desperately trying to get him out of hiding for the rerelease.
A Fine TV Movie, Made For The Big Screen
It might be the Lauren Graham factor that tinged the over-all-affect of John Hindman's debut feature for me -- Answer Man is a pleasant and enjoyable film, easy to go down, and often wrong about details: perfect for network TV. It doesn't help that Buster from Arrested Development (Tony Hale) plays the mailman.