What separates "October Road," albeit to a modest extent, is an unusually appealing cast, though that's relatively small compensation for the banality of the central character's situation.
Nick (Bryan Greenberg) is introduced via a 10-year-old flashback, right before he embarks on a six-week trip to Europe, leaving girlfriend Hannah (Laura Prepon) and best pal Eddie (Geoff Stults), as well as the small New England college town where he's grown up with his widowed dad (Tom Berenger).
Like Gilligan, however, that tour lasted longer than anticipated. A decade later, Nick is a successful novelist, having written a book obviously drawing liberally from his real-life experience. So in the throes of a creative and existential crisis, he agrees to teach a one-day seminar back home that, duh, will inspire him to hang around, facing the fallout from his book and a shifting set of relationships.
-Review by Brian Lowry on Variety.com