Jeff Daniels captures the feeling of this play very well. I admire him for his effort, nuance, and energy, although often enough I felt that he was only imitating the original film (a performance that cannot be matched). I would have liked to see something more original, but I'm grateful for what I did get, which was a powerful and admirable homage to the genius of Richard Dreyfuss.
Although Patricia Heaton acted her part well enough for me to feel it, I thought the movie could have been improved if they had chosen an actress who could do her own dancing. She also didn't have as much energy as I hoped. She did elicit sympathy from me, though, which shows a level of commitment and skill admirable in any actor.
Hallie Kate Eisenberg I found frustratingly shallow, which, although typical of child stars, isn't universal. I think her dimples prevent her from acting either sophisticated or sullen, both of which are demanded in the script.