Film & TV

"Answers to Nothing" Review: Emotionally Fraudulent and Lacking a Soul – Just Like Dane Cook

Panicked over being late to artificially inseminate his wife at the hospital, an unhappily married therapist (Dane Cook) pulls his mistress' mouth off his cock and forces her to spit into a plastic donation cup. So begins this wretchedly unearned provocation of a drama, in which cowriter/director Matthew Leutwyler rips off Paul Haggis wholesale with another goddamned interwoven ensemble of disparate, desperate Angelinos crashing into one another. A recovering drunk (Miranda Bailey) seeks redemption for paralyzing her marathon-running bro, an African-American TV writer admits to her suitor (and our philandering shrink) that she loathes black people, and a milquetoast schoolteacher (Mark Kelly) obsesses about both fantasy gaming and the little girl whose recent kidnapping serves as a media-frenzy backdrop. To add to the laughable sensationalism, the primary suspect flirts with the lead detective during interrogations. Nudging past two lengthy hours, Answers to Nothing also answers to nobody, oblivious to how far-fetched and emotionally fraudulent its lost-soul crises are. Ponderous monologues about bad choices and heartbreak epitomize the formulaic screenwriting, but it's the crosscutting between a vigilante's bloody confrontation and an angsty rock show for climactic tension that makes this movie the most embarrassing project on costar Barbara Hershey's résumé.

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Aaron Hillis is a regular film contributor at Voice Media Group and its film partner, the Village Voice. VMG publications include LA Weekly, Denver Westword, Phoenix New Times, Miami New Times, Broward-Palm Beach New Times, Houston Press and Dallas Observer.