You know more or less how it's gonna go, with man and woman meeting each other, hitting it off, screwing it up, misunderstanding something, being sad, and finally one of them running to try to catch the other in order to say "I love you." But writer-director Gary David Goldberg (adapting a novel by Claire Cook) achieves something rare for this genre: He makes us understand how two people played by such obviously beautiful and smart actors like John Cusack and Diane Lane can have dating woes. Lane, playing preschool teacher Sarah Nolan, is neurotic and highly judgmental of others; Cusack, playing a boat builder named Jake Anderson, is uncomfortably intense, obsessed with Dr. Zhivago, and owns way too many Ramones T-shirts. Yes, some contrivances are a bit much, and most plot problems could easily be resolved if one of the people involved would just pick up the damn phone. Still, there are also some strange and unexpected peripheral twists.
Director: Gary David Goldberg
Writer: Gary David Goldberg and Brad Hall
Producer: Gary David Goldberg, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd
Cast: Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins, Dermot Mulroney, Christopher Plummer, Stockard Channing, Ben Shenkman, Brad William Henke and Julie Gonzalo