Henry Roth (Billy Crudup) is an obsessive-compulsive and somewhat misanthropic writer of children's books. His illustrator and only friend, Rudy (Tom Wilkinson), dies after a fabulously successful collaboration on their series of children's books about "Marty the Beaver." Henry is under contract to produce another Marty book for Christmas sales. His publisher, Arthur Planck (Bob Balaban), assigns penniless, lovelorn illustrator Lucy Reilly (Mandy Moore) to work with Henry. She's sought by her ex-boyfriend Jeremy (Martin Freeman), who dumped her two years ago but shows up apologetic, having dedicated his new book to her. She and Henry go to a house on the shore to work. Will love bloom amid the rocks, or is Henry a bump on Lucy's road to Jeremy? Rudy's voice, from the grave, gives Henry counsel.Tom Wilkinson as Rudy Holt
Billy Crudup as Henry Roth
Christine Taylor as Allison
Bob Balaban as Arthur Planck
Catherine Lloyd Burns as Mother in Bookstore
Amy Sedaris as Cassidy's Mom
Cassidy Hinkle as Cassidy
Mandy Moore as Lucy Reily
Jeremy Shamos as Matthew
Christopher Fitzgerald as Robin
Dianne Wiest as Carol
Jicky Schnee as Mandy the Waitress
John Ellison Conlee as Man at Lucy's
Martin Freeman as Jeremy
Christopher Grey Misa as Abused Kid
Catherine Kellner as Abusive Mom
Bobby Cannavale as Don Meyers
Peter Bogdanovich as Roger Spade
Justin Theroux as Lawyer on phone
The film opened on August 24, 2007 in two theaters, earning an average of $5,958 per theater.
It added two additional theaters the following week, but in its third week (September 7), it left one of the initial screens. Its fourth week also saw the loss of another screen, leaving the film to show in only two theaters (Irvine, CA, Los Angeles, CA) nationwide.
However, in its fifth week, September 21, the film was added to 6 additional theaters (in Palm Desert, CA, San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Chicago, IL, Royal Oak, MI, Washington DC, Philadelphia, PA, Cambridge, MA) marking the largest theater count it had at one point during its run.
The sixth week, September 28, the film lost two theaters, leaving 6 theaters during its last box office-counting week.
Its seventh week, the film opened in 6 cities (La Jolla, CA, Dallas, TX, Indianapolis, IN, Scottsdale, AZ, Portland, OR, Denver, CO) in which it had not previously been shown.
In November and December 2007, the film started being shown in two-day runs in Northern California (Sonora, Davis, Visalia), marking its final theatrical run.
The film received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that the film received 41% positive reviews, based on 44 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 50 out of 100, based on 19 reviews.
The film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, and was given its official selection.
The film was released on DVD on February 12, 2008 in the United States. The disc has no bonus features.