Charlize Theron is excellent as the arrested development ghost writer (of young adult novels) so out of touch with reality she believes she can win steal high school flame Patrick Wilson away from his new family. So she leaves the city (MInneapolis) to return to the small town she despises. Theron's character was a bitch at school, and she's still every bit as shallow and emotionally-stunted. Everything about her insane plan works against any audience sympathy, culminating in an excruciating sequence at the baby's dedication.
But the core of the film and her (brief) redemption is the tentative friendship she strikes up with "hate-crime guy" Patton Oswalt's (he is stuck in his own past like Theron, but due to reasons of physical limitation). Oswalt is extremely affecting, without ever playing for a cheap sympathy vote.
I especially liked that the film pulled away from providing its lead character with an emotional journey; it's particularly appropriate that the individual who rebuilds Theron to her old self is woundingly dismissed by her moments later.