Disparite group of characters comes together under unusual circumstances. All are hurt in some way and slowly warm up to each other. Have them hurt each other but then bring them back together so that they all see that they are exactly what they needed. Let them heal each other, cut to credits.
With that said, The Station Agent was really good. Requisite quirky characters: People (and self) hating Dwarf, desperately social, talkative Cuban-New Yorker, Artist/Yuppie Housewife who’s lost her child. I don’t know how far outside of formula you can really go with character movies like this, so maybe pointing out its cliche is moot. However, the characters were all pretty well drawn and very empathetic. The Dwarf hates everyone, but the cuban needs to be everyone’s friend. Cuban serves Cafe con Leche to Yuppie woman, who initially blocks him out- until she almost runs over the dwarf- twice! Nice little flourishes featuring the adopted daugher from Lovely and Amazing and the dwarf’s love of trains. The dwarf’s name is Finbar, btw. Jen from Dawnson’s Creek has a bit part as a library employee pregnant and messed up with the wrong guy. Dwarf guy was in Elf and other things I guess, Yuppie/artist is Patty Clarkson and was also in the awesome All the Real Girls. I don’t really mean to sound so disdainful, the movie was funny and touching and I wholeheartedly recommend it. As a rental that is.