Aly Semigran
August 10, 2011 AT 11:35 PM EDT

Did you hear the one about Dane Cook trying his hand, once again, at a serious acting career? Now, don’t go setting up a punchline just yet, PopWatchers.

Roadside Attractions confirmed to EW that their upcoming indie drama Answers to Nothing will be released nationwide on Dec. 2. The film, about a group of people seeking redemption in the midst of a child kidnapping case, stars Elizabeth Mitchell, Julie Benz, Zach Gilford, Barbara Hershey, and, yes, Cook. Mitchell explained to EW back in 2009 that the movie, “Is a little bit like Magnolia, where you get this glimpse into people’s lives and it may not be exactly what you want to see, but it is accurate.”

Nevertheless, it’s a pretty safe assumption that many of you stopped reading around “Dane Cook” or made up your mind about his part in Answers to Nothing right around, well, “Dane Cook.” Despite the fact that he’s one of the most successful stand-up comedians of the past 20 years (his record-breaking comedy album Retaliation went double platinum), Cook’s rabid fan base is equally matched by adamant naysayers. You either love him, or you really, really don’t.

Then again, if you’ve found it tough to love Cook the comedian, it’s been just as hard to love Cook the movie star, thanks to his turns on the big screen in Mr. Brooks, Employee of the Month, My Best Friend’s Girl, and the dreadful Good Luck Chuck. The thing is, in spite of those clunkers, one thing still stuck out: Cook actually isn’t that bad of an actor.

Cook’s best performance thus far has been in the 2007 family dramedy Dan in Real Life. He could hold his own against the likes of heavy-hitters like Steve Carell and Diane Wiest, and even the most fervent of doubters likely cracked a smile at his original ode to “Ruthie Pig Face Draper.”

So could the 39-year-old star change some minds yet? In addition to redeeming himself — and defending his act — on Louie recently, Cook has opted for a darker, edgier blend of humor opposed to the polarizing frat boy brand that skyrocketed him to fame. Could he be evolving? Is it already too late if he has? While his Broadway debut in Neil LaBute’s play Fat Pig has been postponed until next season, with Answers to Nothing hitting theaters this year, maybe Cook will get another shot at having the last laugh.

Are you willing to give Dane Cook another shot on the big screen, PopWatchers?

Read more:

Dane Cook and Louis C.K. settle joke-stealing feud

Dane Cook shapes up

Elizabeth Mitchell cast in indie drama ‘Answers to Nothing’

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