Next Stop Wonderland

Cowriter-director Brad Anderson takes a classic romance-movie premise — the odd couple, obviously right for each other, whose paths cross frequently but who don’t connect until shortly before the credits roll — and tweaks the love-is-destiny routine into a fresh new shape. The Daytrippers‘ Hope Davis (ever delightful, never predictable) stars as a night-shift nurse ready to give up on men after she’s dumped by her boyfriend (Boogie Nights‘ equally fascinating Philip Seymour Hoffman). Unconventionally attractive Alan Gelfant (The Crow: City of Angels) plays the unpretentious guy she’s meant for — part plumber, part marine-biology student, all-around catch. But before she gets to even consider him, she’s got to put up with a string of unsuitable suitors who answer a personal ad placed by her mother (Holland Taylor), of all the indignities, on behalf of her Bridget Jones of a daughter. Anderson brings compassion to his amused sense of yuppie tragicomedy, as he does to his nuanced understanding of Boston, the setting of this appealing fairy tale. B+

Next Stop Wonderland
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