Romance Conquers Neurotic Misanthropy
Starring: Billy Crudup, Mandy Moore, Tom
Wilkinson, Bob Balaban, Diane
Wiest, and Martin Freeman
Runtime: 93 minutes
Distributor: The Weinstein Co.
Director: Justin Theroux
Executive Producer: Justin Theroux, Chip Seelig,
Reagan Silber, and Luke
Producer: Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin
Lundberg and Galt Biederhoffer
Writer: David Bromberg
Address Comments To:Bob and Harvey Weinstein
The Weinstein Company
345 Hudson Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 862-3400
Fax: (917) 368-7000
The movie opens in a seedy porn theater where two children’s authors, the obsessive-compulsive Henry and his middle-aged illustrator, Rudy, go for inspiration. There, they get inspiration for a new series based on an animal. The first book is a tremendous success, despite the story’s lewd connotations.
Then, however, the illustrator, Rudy, suddenly dies. Henry is, of course, devastated. Henry’s editor at the publishing company tries to get Henry to accept a new illustrator, a young woman named Lucy. Encouraged by imaginary conversations with his dead friend and colleague, Henry decides to woo Lucy. A big snag occurs when a secret that Lucy kept from Henry about her contract with their publisher threatens to destroy their budding romantic and professional relationship.
Even looking past the lewd aspects of the movie’s first part, Henry is not a character who inspires much sympathy, especially in the beginning. Then again, Lucy keeps important information from him. All this begs the question, why should the audience care whether these two people get together? In defense of the movie’s plot devices, one could perhaps say that the movie asks whether a romance can survive a major violation of trust and, thus, deals with an important issue. Even so, the sexual references and foul language in DEDICATION are distasteful and excessive overall. Besides, though romance can lead to marriage and children, it is ultimately pointless and unfulfilling if you and your family don’t have a proper relationship with God, which comes only through Jesus Christ. This lack of religious context is true of most romantic comedies, however.
Despite its offbeat qualities, DEDICATION is rather predictable and uninspiring. Also, the main characters are not so likable. This may be somewhat true to life, but, even so, why, then, should viewers care what happens to them? Also, the sexual references and foul language in DEDICATION are distasteful and excessive overall. Of course, though romance can lead to marriage and children, it is ultimately pointless and unfulfilling without a proper relationship with God, which comes only through Jesus Christ.