The film is, like it or not, a traditional romantic comedy, with the characters, relationships, plot development, and outcome you expect. But don’t let that scare you off, you might just enjoy it. It fits quite comfortably in the mold set by Woody Allen, and his post-Reagan successors of white male New York neurosis, Whit Stillman and Noah Baumbach.
Stillman and Baumbach regular Chris Eigman — his recognizable face a bit chubbier since his early 90’s heydey — plays the lead, Jake Singer, a 30-something English teacher in need of direction. Singer seeks “treatment” from a ruthless Freudian played by Ian Holm. Their moments on-screen together make up the best bits of the film, showing great chemistry and comic timing. Singer’s love interest, a recently widowed parent to one of his students, is played by Dutch-born Famke Janssen. Janssen is so gorgeous she seems to have to understate to not steal the show entirely.
There are some plot holes and secondary stories that don’t entirely work, and you get the feeling the film might have worked better as a cable series. Though the casting — with Roger Rees and Harris Yulin in small but effective parts — and performances keep the film moving with an enjoyable energy and warmth.