The warmth of Baker as the cuddly nature boy (another idealized image, certainly, but a romantic one) and the intelligence and fire of Lathan give the lesson, and movie, just enough heart to make it enjoyable.
It lacks the invention of Pegg's comedies with Edgar Wright, which buzz and crackle with ideas and energy. This one simply plods through, just like Dennis. Only Pegg's doggedness gets this effort across the finish line.
Director Wayne Wang stumbles through the awkward script without finding its shape or its tone, steering it toward maturity while the script falls back into slapstick sports gags and adolescent social politics.