A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Here' s how it ends: Ed gets married, anyway. Why no spoiler warning? Two reasons: 1) You already know it (and you know that it doesn't matter) within the first three minutes of "Chaos Theory," and 2) "Ed" is an entirely disposable component of the framing device. He' s not even really in "Chaos Theory," he's just at either end of it. True, you should never judge a book by its bookends, but if you put the bookends too far apart, they're not going to do much to hold the book up, either. That's Ed for you.
You know what they always say about stories. When it comes down to it, there are really only two: somebody goes somewhere (fish out of water), or a stranger arrives (familiar water, unknown fish). "Chaos Theory" is neither, sandwiched between both. Dramatically it's neither fish nor fowl, so you can't quite tell if the sandwich is tuna salad or chicken salad.
The filling consists of Frank (Ryan Reynolds), a compulsively punctual motivational speaker and author of the best-selling The Five-Minute Efficiency Trainer, which involves a heavy reliance on index cards. (Index cards are those rectangles of stiff paper that used to be sold in the stationery section -- like what they put in the drawers of card catalogs in the library. Never mind.)
The thing about the cards is that Frank can't live without them. He uses them to keep himself organized, and to help him make decisions.