Shoreline Entertainment

LAS VEGAS -- There's an agreeably loose and laid back goofiness to "Careless," a comedy about a slacker whose discovery of a severed finger in his kitchen points him toward true love in the guise of a mysterious woman who proves to be short a digit.

While it ultimately loses its way, not getting there is nevertheless a pleasant experience thanks to quirky turns from its cast, including Colin Hanks and Tony Shalhoub, and a light directorial touch by newcomer Peter Spears.

Hanks' Wiley Roth is a mild-mannered bookstore employee who enlists the help of his buddy, Mitch (an irreverent Fran Kranz), to track down the source of that missing appendage.

His search ultimately leads him to the intriguing but secretive Cheryl (Rachel Blanchard), who prefers not to discuss the reason for her bandaged hand, which is just as well because Wiley has somehow misplaced the fateful finger.

While Eric Laster's script could have benefited from a firmer grip in the structure department, Spears' direction (he's an executive producer on HBO's "John From Cincinnati") and those amusing performances keep things moving along at a comfortably unhurried pace.

Hanks definitely has dad Tom's easy demeanor and natural comic timing, while Blanchard exhibits the world-weary smarts of a Zooey Deschanel; and Shalhoub does an entertaining riff on his "Monk" character as Wiley's certifiably oddball but still caring father.

The Los Angeles-based production also does well by its use of off-the-beaten-path locations and John Frizzell's casually loopy score.

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