A charming tale about misanthropist children’s book writer – Henry (Billy Crudup) teaming with a confused female illustrator Lucy (Mandy Moore), “Dedication” is actor Justin Theroux’s spirited directorial debut.

After the acerbic, cynical and pessimistic Henry loses his best (perhaps, only) friend and long time collaborator Rudy Holt (Tom Wilkinson), he retreats into a shell of denial and delusion. Periodically having long drawn trite conversations with a ghostly Rudy, and pondering the profundity of ‘what ifs’, Henry isn’t ready to resume work on his very succesful book – ‘Marty the Beaver’…

Lucy, is a flaky young woman who’s being evicted from her house by her balmier mother (Dianne Wiest). To get back on her feet, she is forcedly paired with the remarkably caustic Henry – a $200,000 bonus dangling as bait in return for her promise to get the book finished in time.

Complications ensue, as the two strong personalities butt heads, Lucy deals with her feeling for her ex- lover (Martin Freeman), and business takes precedence over all. Actor Bob Balaban rounds off the perfect cast, with his flippant portrayal of a stoic book publisher.  

An indie romantic comedy about quirky characters and significance of their trivial existences, “Dedication” accomplishes what it sets out to do, and quite splendidly so. A feel-good movie with a very unique directorial style, pitch-perfect performances (particularly Crudup’s nomination worthy portrayal), and a very smart script (by David Bromberg), this film is a must-watch for any independent cinema enthusiasts. With enough visual style, and a good story to go with it, Justin Theroux is definitely a director to watch out for.

One of the better films to come out of Sundance this year, Dedication is one of those movies that are probably not ‘great’, but show tremendous promise for all those involved.

Similar suggested Movies: As Good as it Gets, Rainman