There are two curious elements to The Land of Steady Habits: writer-director Nicole Holofcener centering a film around a male protagonist; and Ben Mendelsohn giving a regular-guy, mildly comic performance. I wish both experiments had paid off a bit more. Mendelsohn plays Anders Harris, a recently divorced, early-retired Wall Street type struggling to adjust to an unmoored life. I’m not sure if it’s because Holofcener is adapting someone else’s material for the first time (in this case a novel by Ted Thompson), but the screenplay is obvious and functional, with far too few of the acutely observed, vulnerably authentic moments that make her so special as a filmmaker. Even Mendelsohn doesn’t get too much to sink his teeth into until about three quarters of the way in, when Anders is finally allowed to actually be mean and nasty (rather than a bland, goofy screwup) to the new acquaintance he’s begun dating. That character is played by Connie Britton, who kills her few scenes as a woman who’s been through too much to put up with any more masculine self-pity. Better still is Edie Falco as Anders’ ex-wife, playing another one of her stalwart truth-tellers. I appreciate Holofcener’s urge to stretch in a different direction, but I might have better appreciated a version of this film that focused on the two of them.