A bottomless pit for dreamers, California attracts more than its share of kooks, drifters and spiritual seekers. The combination of sunshine and Hollywood alchemizes into a precious commodity more valuable than the gold that began the stampede. At this juncture, genius and insanity have become interchangeable to the point where it’s become quite difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins.

King of California perfectly illustrates the problem: in a world that is quick to judge, yet embraces and then rejects disposable prophets (Jim Baker, George Bush, Howard Dean), a true seer maybe be impossible to see.

King of California tells the story of Charlie, a delightfully rumpled Michael Douglas, fresh from a mental institution and convinced there’s Spanish gold in them there hills of suburbia. His daughter, Miranda (Evan Rachel Wood), the skeptic to her father’s believer, vacillates between wanting to believe, exasperation and annoyance – she’s the kind of world-weary teenager who’s been there, done that, seen it all before.

What I like about the story is how Miranda’s desire to believe in something, anything, abuts against the audience’s own desires.

In a world filled with cookie cutter houses, restaurants, jobs and increasingly people, a dream, even a ridiculous one, feels worth fighting for.

Unfortunately, much of this free-floating discontent we’ve seen before in movies as disparate as Life as a House and Office Space. King of California, neither particularly funny, gripping or moving, falls somewhat between the cracks into the land of mildly amusing and somewhat engaging.

Grade: B-

King of California will be available Jan. 29.