4 stars out of 5
TV and film actor (and nephew of writer Paul) Justin Theroux makes his directorial debut with a clever and quirky romantic comedy. Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, The Good Shepherd) and Tom Wilkinson (In The Bedroom, Shakespeare In Love) are a successful but odd pair, children's book creators inspired by porn films and united in misanthropy and invective. When too much Genoa salami does in Wilkinson, Crudup is left with his neuroses and a looming deadline from his relentless publisher. A strong cast features Mandy Moore (A Walk To Remember), Bob Balaban (A Mighty Wind), and Dianne Wiest (Hannah And Her Sisters), and indie rock trio Deerhoof anchor a terrific soundtrack. Though Theroux's effort ultimately loses a bit of its verve and limps to a predictable ending, Dedication has more than enough positives to put it high on the "to-see" list.