Andrew Bujalski has a good sense of balance: he's clear-eyed about his characters' problems - I think he gets the details of self-and-other-forms-of-deception just right - but he's also sympathetic to their failings and aware of their strengths.
Like: Alan - played by Justin Rice - came off as a little bit of a tool during the first part of the movie, leading me to wonder if we were supposed to think it was kind of a joke that the women in the film found him compelling. But then we get to see him perform and, it's like: yes, I get it now. Justin Rice completely gets across the idea of this kind of wishy-washy, passive-aggressive guy who finally (only?) really comes alive on stage.
Again, I'm not sure if I would like this movie as much if I didn't completely recognize these type of people and their lifestyle from my own past. That is: part of what I appreciate is that Bujalski really seems to get the specifics right. On the other hand, at this point in my life, I'm far enough removed from that kind of scene that I can view it with a certain sense of detachment, which also helps.