Lauren Graham and Jeff Daniels in a scene from “The Answer Man.” IMDb photo

First of all, who doesn’t like Jeff Daniels? He’s never not scored in anything he’s taken on, from “Terms of Endearment” to Woody Allen’s “Radio Days” and “Purple Rose of Cairo” to “Godless.”

Here Jeff is as Arlen Faber, the author of a self-help spiritual guidebook, “Me and God.” It hit the bestseller list 20 years ago, swept up a planet-wide audience and made him millions.

Then Faber pulled a J.D. Salinger, and vanished into a luxurious brownstone somewhere in the concrete jungle, and shut the world out.

These days, he starts his morning in meditation with recorded music, incense and chimes. But when interrupted by anyone, especially the mailman, he bursts out of his Deepak Chopra trance, and shouts out six pages of profanity like a wounded truck driver.

We get to know this Arlen by following him though his elaborately designed apartment as he has his coffee, and puts on an Ella Fitzgerald record. Suddenly without warning, his back suffers a spasm and he drops to the floor in pain.

He kicks open his phone, but unable to rouse pity from his abused editor, he crawls to the door, out onto the sidewalk, and, get ready for this, crawls down three or four blocks, across traffic, on his hands and knees to Elizabeth, a neighborhood chiropractor (the lovely Lauren Graham of “Gilmore Girls” and “Bad Santa” fame) who manipulates him back into shape.

Dr. Elizabeth is young, and clearly unaware of who this strange guy is, but Anne, (Olivia Thirlby of indie hit “Juno”) her receptionist, does.

So begins a sweet, complicated romance with Liz, who has a darling little troubled son Alex (Max Antisell) and kicks open Arlen’s door to the outside world, where his devoted fans seem to have been waiting for his return.

If you think this is an unbelievable stretch I suggest you check out the real story of J.D. Salinger, whose “Catcher In The Rye” kept his fans waiting even longer. Salinger, sadly, never returned.

Enter Kris (Lou Taylor Pucci of “Thumbsucker” and Netflix’s “You”) a young, alcoholic loser, who is about to lose his little bookstore, where he has always kept Arlen’s book in stock. Kris will help kick the story forward.

Written and directed by “La La Land’s” John Hindman, the plot has a few imperfect moments and loose ends, but don’t all love stories?

You may notice that it often tends to remind you of Jack Nicholson’s OCD artist (“As Good as it Gets”) and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan’s mismatch in Nora Ephron’s “You’ve Got Mail.” How bad is that?

“The Answer Man” now streaming on Netflix.

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