Adapted from David Lipsky's book Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself
, this moving, morally engaged drama chronicles the five-day road trip that Lipsky, then a staff writer for Rolling Stone
, took with novelist David Foster Wallace in 1996 as the latter embarked on a reading tour for his just-published opus Infinite Jest
. Wallace (Jason Segel in his most impressive performance to date) comes off as brilliant, gentle, and sincere, yearning for authentic emotional experience and deeply ambivalent about the fame that's begun to envelop him; Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) comes off as envious, duplicitous, and exploitative, rifling through the novelist's medicine cabinet even as, outside the bathroom, Wallace is leaving a friendly surprise message on his cassette recorder. Their affectionate farewell at the end seems terribly sad, given that the story is framed by Wallace's 2008 suicide; reliving their encounter feels even sadder, given that Lipsky couldn't resist milking it for a book sale.