Clearly, this isn't your standard rom-com. It's sort of an arthouse mix of indie quirkiness and a mainstream love story, hitting all the notes you've come to expect from the cliché-ridden genre but with unexpectedly better dialogue and acting. Billy Crudup makes the best of his needlessly combative and excessively obsessive-compulsive character, at times even managing to make him interesting, but you never find yourself rooting for the guy. Given that Mandy Moore, who underplays her character to perfection, is beyond lovable, it's almost frustrating to watch her fall for such a douchebag.
Tom Wilkinson adds some class to the proceedings with his minor yet significant role, and he plays against Crudup well. DEDICATION is at its best when the characters exchange back-and-forth banter, with the script offering a lot in the way of clever dialogue. Actor-turned-director Justin Theroux overplays elements a little too often though, throwing in obnoxious indie tunes and MTV-style editing to symbolize Crudup's character's neurotic attitude. It's not a poorly made film, per se, but subtlety is not its strong suit.