Smart People (2008) Poster

Smart People (2008)

  • Rate: 6.2/10 total 15,732 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 11 April 2008 (USA)
  • Runtime: 95 min
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Smart People (2008)


Smart People 2008tt0858479.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Smart People (2008)
  • Rate: 6.2/10 total 15,732 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Romance
  • Release Date: 11 April 2008 (USA)
  • Runtime: 95 min
  • Filming Location: Allegheny General Hospital – 320 East North Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Gross: $9,496,882(USA)(1 June 2008)
  • Director: Noam Murro
  • Stars: Dennis Quaid, Thomas Haden Church and Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Original Music By: Nuno Bettencourt (music by)  
  • Soundtrack: Stitch
  • Sound Mix: DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS
  • Plot Keyword: Professor | Student | Adopted Brother | Date | Emergency Room

Writing Credits By:

  • Mark Poirier (written by) (as Mark Jude Poirier)

Known Trivia

  • Rachel Weisz was originally cast opposite Dennis Quaid in this film, but she decided to leave the project. She was then replaced with Sarah Jessica Parker.

Goofs: Errors in geography: In the exterior New York hotel shots, which were actually shot in Pittsburgh, the taxi used is clearly a City of Pittsburgh cab, used as such in other parts of the movie, not a New York City taxi as suggested by the movie's story. Pittsburgh Cab Company checkers, logo and phone number are all visible on the side of the cab. The cab is also missing the NYC medallion, the medallion number on the roof, and the sub-letter on its license plate, all characteristics of New York City taxis.

Plot: Into the life of a widowed professor comes a new love and an unexpected visit from his adopted brother. Full summary »  »

Story: Lawrence Wetherhold is miserable and misanthropic: he's a widower, a pompous professor at Carnegie Mellon, an indifferent father to a college student and a high-school senior, and the reluctant brother of a ne'er-do-well who's come to town. A seizure and a fall send Lawrence to the emergency room where the physician, a former student of his, ends up going on a date with him. His daughter, Vanessa, lonely and friendless, who's been bonding with his brother, tries to sabotage dad and the doctor's relationship, but Lawrence is good at that without help. Is there any way these smart people can get a life? Can happiness be pursued beneath layers of irony?Written by <>  


Synopsis: Carnegie Mellon English Professor Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) is a depressed middle-aged widower. He is arrogant at work, uninterested in his students, and alienated from his two children. His adopted ne’er-do-well brother Chuck (Thomas Haden Church) arrives to borrow money and stay for a while, and tries to unwind Lawrence’s lonely, high-achieving teenage daughter Vanessa (Ellen Page).

Meanwhile, Lawrence suffers a trauma-induced seizure after falling from the top of a fence in an attempt to retrieve his briefcase from inside of his impounded car. After being released from the hospital, Lawrence has a meeting with a sympathetic doctor, Janet (Sarah Jessica Parker), a former student he does not recall. Janet fulfills her long-ago crush with a "face-to-face" date with the professor, towards which Vanessa verbalizes her displeasure, confronting Janet about Lawrence’s fragility. At dinner, however, Lawrence displays his stultifying arrogance and Janet walks out. The two reconcile at a second date, but, while spending the night, Janet is turned off by Lawrence’s neediness and worries that he is, in fact, still too distraught by his wife’s death. In order to get rid of him, she feigns being called in by the hospital and does not return any of his subsequent calls. On another night, in the midst of a contentious Christmas family dinner at the Wetherholds’, Janet arrives unannounced with a cake.

After Chuck gets Vanessa drunk to celebrate her early acceptance into Stanford University, she makes a pass at him. He then moves in part-time with Lawrence’s son, James (Ashton Holmes), in his college dormitory.

James’ girlfriend and Lawrence’s student Missy (Camille Mana) tells Lawrence that James has had a poem accepted at The New Yorker. By contrast, Lawrence has failed to sell his latest academic tome to any publisher. Vanessa changes the title to You Can’t Read! and the book is sold to Penguin Group, a large non-academic publisher in New York. To Lawrence’s dismay, however, the book is largely re-worked and edited by the publisher. Janet accompanies him on a trip to New York, where she learns she is pregnant by Lawrence. Pre-occupied by his book publishing and an on-going campaign to become chairman of the English Department at the college, Janet is again upset by Lawrence’s self-absorption and breaks up without telling him the news.

Back in Pittsburgh, Lawrence is additionally confronted by both James and Chuck, who both point to his uninvolvedness with his children’s lives. Helped along by Chuck, Lawrence goes to the hospital to reconcile with Janet, who reveals her pregnancy. He has meanwhile become a more involved parent and professor. During the end credits, the main characters cradle twin babies.


FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Omar Amanat known as executive producer
  • Deborah Aquila known as co-producer
  • Steffen Aumueller known as executive producer (as Steffen Aumüller)
  • Bill Block known as executive producer
  • Said Boudarga known as executive producer
  • Claus Clausen known as co-producer
  • Michael Costigan known as producer
  • Marina Grasic known as executive producer
  • Paul Hanson known as executive producer
  • Bridget Johnson known as producer
  • Michael London known as producer
  • Kenneth Orkin known as executive producer
  • Bruna Papandrea known as producer
  • Jennifer Roth known as executive producer
  • Edward Rugoff known as executive producer (as Ed Rugoff)
  • Glenn M. Stewart known as co-producer (as Glenn Stewart)
  • John Woldenberg known as co-producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Dennis Quaid known as Lawrence Wetherhold
  • Sarah Jessica Parker known as Janet Hartigan
  • Thomas Haden Church known as Chuck Wetherhold
  • Ellen Page known as Vanessa Wetherhold
  • Ashton Holmes known as James Wetherhold
  • Christine Lahti known as Nancy
  • Camille Mana known as Missy
  • David Denman known as William
  • Don Wadsworth known as Hadley
  • Robert Haley known as Roth
  • Patrick Sebes known as Curtis
  • Kevin James Doyle known as Rodney
  • Paul Huber known as Ben (as Paul J. Huber)
  • Iva Jean Saraceni known as Volunteer
  • Richard John Walters known as Parking Lot Attendant
  • Scott A. Martin known as Weller
  • Jane Mowder known as Knight
  • Adam Kroloff known as Talbot
  • Patrick Jordan known as Waiter
  • Amanda Jane Cooper known as Brooke
  • Kiley Caughey known as Linsey
  • Christy Harst known as Waitress
  • Rick Warner known as Bloomberg
  • Barret Hackney known as Joseph
  • José A. Rivas known as Student (as Jose A. Rivas)
  • Zilda Alvez known as Bar Patron (uncredited)
  • Tony Amen known as Dining Patron (uncredited)
  • Elysia Annacini known as Professor (uncredited)
  • Aaron Bernard known as Pool Shark (uncredited)
  • Will Guffey known as Student (uncredited)
  • John W. Iwanonkiw known as Diner Guest (uncredited)
  • William Kania known as Man at Luggage Pick-up (uncredited)
  • Benjamin Jeran McGinn known as Student (uncredited)
  • Jackson Nunn known as Club Scene: Dining (uncredited)
  • Joe Pawlenko known as Bar Patron (uncredited)
  • Jon Yu known as Student (uncredited)



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Ron Berkeley known as key makeup artist
  • Judy Chin known as makeup department head
  • Mandy Lyons known as hair department head
  • Kelly Nelson known as key hair artist
  • Cammi Upton known as makeup production assistant (uncredited)
  • Teresa Valenzuela known as wig maker (uncredited)

Art Department:

  • Kimberlee Andrews known as art department coordinator
  • Timothy Barnhill known as set dresser
  • Joshua Bonnett known as on set painter
  • Lisa Bruno known as on set painter
  • Keith Brzozowski known as carpenter
  • Paul Bucciarelli known as on set dresser
  • Robert Buncher known as set dresser
  • Eileen Garrigan known as lead scenic
  • Thomas J. Garrigan known as assistant property master (as Tom Garrigan)
  • Jim Heastings known as carpenter
  • Don Hedenburg known as paint foreman
  • Darryl Henley known as storyboard artist
  • Gary Jurysta known as on set painter
  • Lauren Jurysta known as on set painter
  • Kenneth J. Kellers known as lead dresser (as Ken Kellers)
  • Mark E. Kiley known as carpenter
  • Lara Lampenfield known as on set painter (as Lara Lampenfeld)
  • Merissa Lombardo known as on set painter
  • Lauri Mancuso known as on set painter
  • Joseph A. Manni known as carpenter
  • Mike Matesic known as carpenter (as Michael J. Matesic)
  • Michael J. McKee known as carpenter (as Michael McKee)
  • Barbie Pastorik known as buyer
  • Justin Pelissero known as additional set dresser
  • Buster Pile known as construction coordinator
  • Ray Pivirotto known as lead dresser
  • Ronald J. Reitlinger known as carpenter
  • Mike Richer known as construction foreman
  • Michael Sabo known as property master (as Michael A. Sabo)
  • Christopher St. Pierre known as on set painter
  • Diana Stoughton known as on set painter
  • Scott B. Wood known as carpenter
  • Smith Harper Hutchings known as buyer (uncredited)
  • Smith Harper Hutchings known as set dresser (uncredited)
  • Jonathan Joseph known as art department intern (uncredited)
  • Mary O'Brien known as scenic artist (uncredited)
  • Jesse Ross known as on-set dresser (uncredited)




Production Companies:

  • Miramax Films (present)
  • Groundswell Productions (present)
  • Sherazade Film Development (in association with) (as Sherazade Films)
  • Visitor Pictures (in association with)
  • Corduroy Films (as A Corduroy Films/Table Top Films Production)
  • TableTop Films (as A Corduroy Films/Table Top Films Production)
  • QED International (in association with)
  • Grosvenor Park Productions (uncredited)
  • Scheherazade (uncredited)

Other Companies:

  • AON/Albert G. Ruben Insurance Services  insurance services provided by
  • Adwil Agency  product placement
  • Arby's  special thanks
  • Arriflex  filmed with
  • Audi  special thanks
  • Axon Film Finance 1  acknowlegement: is an author of this motion picture for the purpose of copyright and other laws (as Axon Film Finance 1, LLC)
  • Camera House, The  cameras provided by
  • Carhartt  special thanks (as Carhartt, Inc.)
  • Carnegie Mellon University  special thanks
  • Chesterfield Writer's Film Project  developed in association with
  • Coca-Cola Company, The  special thanks
  • Comerica Entertainment Group  production financing provided by
  • Dell  special thanks
  • Digital Post Services  delivery and international servicing (uncredited)
  • Don Francisco Specialty Coffee  special thanks
  • Entertainment Clearances  rights and clearances
  • Entertainment Partners  payroll services provided by
  • Film Finances  completion guaranty provided by (as Film Finances, Inc.)
  • Fintage House  collection account management by
  • Firehouse Lounge  special thanks (as The Fire House Lounge)
  • Flying Lizard Design – Vallora  special thanks
  • GEM Global Entertainment Magyar  presented in association with
  • Hanna Brothers Catering  catering
  • Hard Rock Cafe International 'Los Angeles' Inc.  special thanks (as Hard Rock Cafe)
  • Hollywood Studio Rental  lighting provided by (as Hollywood Rental)
  • Hughes Television Productions  courtesy of: epk
  • Larabar  special thanks
  • Latico Leathers  special thanks
  • Lightnin' Production Rentals  transportation equipment (uncredited)
  • MS-Pro/  post-production (music services) (uncredited)
  • Mattel  used by permission of: Scrabble Board Game (international rights) (as Mattel, Inc.)
  • Media Distributors Film Source  Fuji film provided by (uncredited)
  • Nau  main titles designed by
  • New Directions Publishing  used by permission of: "The Red Eheelbarroe" by William Carlos Williams, Collected poems: 1909-1929, Volume 1, copyright © 1939 (as New Directions Publishing Corp.)
  • North Face, The  special thanks
  • Penguin Group  special thanks
  • Pennsylvania Film Office  logo
  • Pivotal Post  avid editing systems provided by
  • Post Logic Studios  avid editing systems provided by
  • Reel Team, The  adr casting by
  • Rockbottom Rentals  cell phone rentals (uncredited)
  • Rockbottom Rentals  modem card rentals (uncredited)
  • Rockbottom Rentals  walkie rentals (uncredited)
  • Roll Your Own  acknowlegement: is an author of this motion picture for the purpose of copyright and other laws (as Roll Your Own, Ltd.)
  • Scarlet Letters  end titles by
  • Sewickley Car Store  special thanks
  • Southwest Airlines  special thanks
  • University of Minnesota Press  special thanks
  • Videorama  special thanks
  • Widget Post Production  post production sound services by


  • CatchPlay (2008) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • Miramax Films (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • TFM Distribution (2009) (France) (theatrical)
  • Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures (2008) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • A-Film Home Entertainment (2010) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (ARD) (2011) (Germany) (TV)
  • Blue Sky Media (2008) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) (2011) (UK) (TV) (BBC2)
  • CCRE (2009) (Japan) (DVD)
  • Gativideo (2009) (Argentina) (DVD)
  • Kinowelt Home Entertainment (2009) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Sandrew Metronome Distribution (2008) (Finland) (DVD)
  • Top Film (2008) (Russia) (all media)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Post Logic Studios (visual effects by)

Visual Effects by:

  • Grant Janssen known as senior systems engineer: Post Logic Strudios
  • Eric Pardee known as data management: Post Logic Studios
  • Patrick Phillips known as inferno artist: Post Logic Studios

Release Date:

  • USA 20 January 2008 (Sundance Film Festival)
  • Germany 9 February 2008 (European Film Market)
  • USA 11 April 2008
  • Australia 24 April 2008
  • Ireland 16 May 2008
  • UK 16 May 2008
  • Israel 12 June 2008
  • Russia 3 July 2008
  • Turkey 25 July 2008
  • New Zealand 31 July 2008
  • South Korea 21 August 2008
  • Iceland 12 September 2008
  • Hong Kong 30 October 2008
  • Greece 5 November 2008 (DVD premiere)
  • Brazil 2 December 2008 (DVD premiere)
  • Finland 3 December 2008 (DVD premiere)
  • Taiwan 24 December 2008
  • Mexico 23 January 2009
  • Germany 5 June 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • France 17 June 2009
  • Argentina 22 July 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Japan 26 August 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • Netherlands 11 May 2010 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated R for language, brief teen drug and alcohol use, and for some sexuality



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .


  1. joestank15 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    Smart People – Smart People had a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's farbetter than that. Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennie Quaid) is a "holier thanthou" widowed professor you unfortunately meet once in awhile. He's thesort who's deeply invested in his subject but can neither make itaccessible nor allow the students any time to discuss it. He's abrilliant asshole essentially. He meets a physician in a hospital aftera head injury and begins to reevaluate his life and his happiness. Hehas a dead-beat brother-in-law (Thomas Haden Church who steals everyscene he's in), a daughter (Ellen Page) who is a young Ann Coulter inthe making, and a son (Ashton Holmes) to whom he never talks.

    This film is quite funny! Page and Church were definitely thestand-outs, but I appreciated Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker,two actors who I rarely ever have liked. It deals with a couplefamiliar rom-com problems (pregnancy, the "other woman" thing), but thefilm never feels overly sentimental or cliché. It's satisfying watchingQuaid's character get some richly deserved socks to the stomach once inawhile, but you're with him anyway by the end. The humor is a little onthe biting cold side, which goes well with my tastes, maybe not withsome. Smart People overstays it's welcome a bit near the end, but agood movie overall.


  2. zetes from Saint Paul, MN
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    An indie comedy about a quirky family of self-hating misfits. We'veseen this before, am I right? Well, so what, I say. When it's donewell, I don't care too much whether the concept has been done before.And Smart People is done quite well. Dennis Quaid stars as a collegeprofessor and widower who hasn't been out with a woman since his wifedied an unspecified (but long) amount of time ago. He lives alone withhis daughter (Ellen Page). He has a son who goes to the same college atwhich he teaches and an adopted brother (Thomas Haden Church) who likesto mooch off of him. After an accident, Church moves in with Quaid andPage. Quaid also meets a former student (Sarah Jessica Parker), now adoctor, who had a crush on him. They start to date. The plot isn'tanything special, but the dialogue is witty and the relationships arewell observed. And this is also a case of fine actors who makesomething merely serviceable into something special. Quaid has neverbeen better. My feeling about his work as an actor is that he is veryuneven. He can be excellent, such as in The Right Stuff, but usuallyhe's adequate, and often, perhaps too often, he's awful. But this isdefinitely one of the excellent performances. Church has kind of asitcommy role, but that's fitting for an actor who was really good insitcoms. He's hilarious here, too. A lot of the time, I was thinking ofthe movie as somewhat akin to a sitcom, but a good sitcom. There havebeen such things, you know. Page, fresh off her star-making turn asJuno (though Smart People was filmed earlier), is an actress I've likedin a couple of movies I disliked (Juno and Hard Candy). Finally, amovie with her that I actually like! Feels good. And she's great in it.The character is similar to Juno, but not quite so despicably precious.I like how the writer and director invite the audience to dislike allfour of the major characters, at least a bit. They are recognizablepeople, which is, unfortunately, a rarity in movies. I liked the movie,and recommend it.

  3. Kristine ( from Chicago, Illinois
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    When I saw "Smart People" the trailer, I have to say that the firstthought that came into my mind is "Sideways: Part 2". It had the sameformula and characters. But I really wasn't as into Sideways aseveryone else was, so I wasn't so excited to see this movie. But todayI just decided to go ahead and give it a chance, I'm more grown upsince I've seen Sideways, so why not just see what the film had tooffer? I have to say while the movie does not excite me, I also see itdoesn't excite too many people here on IMDb, it's a decent enough movieand worth the watch. The solid performances make the film likable andthe story is interesting to watch, while it's not something thateveryone can relate too, it's a good movie.

    Lawerance is a college professor who isn't the most popular guy oncampus, he's pompous, arrogant, and puts himself higher above hisstudents while ignoring their plea's for extra help on assignments. Hisson hates him, his daughter admires him and is quite the over achiever,and his adopted brother is a scam artist. But when Lawerance has anaccident while jumping fence, he hits his head, and meets formerstudent, Janet Hartigan. They start to date, his daughter, Vanessa,goes through her life realizing she's never really had fun, and hisadopted brother, Chuck needs this family just as much as Laweranceneeds it.

    Smart People, the major problem is that this was advertised as acomedy, it has some funny moments, but they're not what you would calllaugh out loud. I'd say this is more of a drama with comedic elements,kind of like "Dan in Real Life", so Smart People didn't have "SmartAdvertisement", but the movie is worth the watch. I would recommend it,it's an interesting film, not thrilling, so I would recommend probablywaiting for the rental. But the cast pulls the movie together and makesit into a good drama.


  4. mrjoelcairo from San Diego, CA
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    I saw this at Sundance. It was even better than expected, and I had myhopes up going into it. The story is smart, funny and more complex thanJuno. Don't get me wrong; I loved Juno. I guess I am saying that SmartPeople is on a parallel level of quality with it despite being morecomplex in terms of the characters and their relationships. If youloved Juno, think of Smart People as your next stepping stone upward.While Ellen Page is one of the stars here, it is important not tooverlook the fact that two of the bona fide actors with solid trackrecords — Dennis Quaid and Thomas Haden Church — are really the mainattractions here. If you look at Quaid's film history, you will see awide array of projects, ranging from Breaking Away and The Right Stuffto Far From Heaven and Traffic. He's not afraid to take risks as anactor, and his long career shows that he is able to withstand the ebbsand flows of an industry that is very fickle. He's the reason youshould see this film.

  5. Charles Delacroix from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    I saw this movie today, the day after it opened here. And I was simplydelighted. This is a fine story told with non-stop heart-tugging humorand verve. The movie captured my attention immediately, and held itfrom beginning to end.

    The scriptwriter, Mark Jude Poirier, adapted his novel for the screenwith extraordinary acumen. The ensemble of characters are justdelightfully appealing. Their story is told here with humor andpoignancy. Dennis Quaid as Laurence Wetherhold, Sarah Jessica Parker asJanet Hartigan, Thomas Haden Church as Chuck, Ellen Page as Vanessa,Ashton Holmes as James … all turn in wonderful performances in aperfectly matched cast.

    To me the pace is perfect, and the dialog is crisp, compelling, almostflawless, with lots of funny lines.

    For me, one of the most uplifting features of this movie is the way thewhole ensemble of characters develops together. The strangeness of thecharacters as individuals, along with the convincing balance as(extended) family, reminds me of the ensemble in Running with Scissors.The quirky dysfunctionality and functionality of this family incombination are like nothing so much as the family in Running withScissors. In any event, these are characters who together gain arenewed sense of hope … a hope that imbues this wounded band ofcharacters with a sense of togetherness and vision that is to me very,very moving.

    Another feature of this movie that I myself found especially appealingis the presence of such exquisitely composed visual scenes. These areof such delightfully crafted texture that in some ways this moviereminds me of the carefully composed scenes in Girl with a PearlEarring and Atonement. The cinematography and beauty of scene afterscene are just wonderful.

    All in all, this is a fun, funny, moving portrait of a delightful bandof characters. I highly recommend this movie to anyone.

  6. (Pulpthatsfiction) from Minnesota
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    Smart People and Juno are alike in only in one way. They are bothreally good movies. The entire cast give great performances and thisfilm has plenty of laughs. Thomas Haden Church and Ellen Page givesensational performances and have yet to disappoint me. The screenplayby Mark Poirier is very well written and deserves some attention thathe will most likely not get. The film is very directed by newcomer NoamNurro and any film he does its in good hands. Yeah I know thats there'sa lot of films that are about ordinary people but its a plot thatsnever get old and always have great performances and laughs every timeespecially Smart People. Despite this film getting not that muchpraise, its a great film to see if you like those ordinary films thatanything but ordinary.

  7. bopdog from Was UK Now US
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    This movie was made before "Juno," but remained on the shelf. It isclear now why— it's just not very good. Ellen Page's Oscarnomination, and her incredible performance in "Juno" got some studio todo some thinking. "Aha!" they probably thought,"Here's a way to cash inher new found fame, and unload this turkey." The studio peeps were, infact very smart people. The movie, however, is rather dull anddepressed.

    It was interesting to hear Page's perky "smart alec" voice in acharacter she played before "Juno." It indicates that much of what sheshowed us in "Juno" was HER, and not mere dialogue or direction.

    Alas, the characters in "Smart People," especially Dennis Quaid's, werescruffy dim-bulbs, and not very pleasant, not admirable, nor watchable.

    Bottom line, this clunker had sat unreleased and in the warehouse for areason. It's not pure rubbish, but it comes mighty close. Its releasenow is pure commercial opportunism. Avoid it if you can!

  8. wjellick from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    Not for your average movie-goer, this one. Although the situation isteed up nicely for a typical feel-good ensemble gush-fest, it resiststhat temptation and takes you to a place where the characters are not,although they seem to need it, ready for rehab. It has an easy,rambling style that gradually rather than gratuitously opens theirworld to us without (for the most part) overly relying on hackneyedsituations and gimmicks (although Quaid's insistence on keeping hiswifes clothing was not one of them). In fact, the situations portrayedare so dark and lo- keyed that I wondered if this movie could have beenmade without the ready-made typecast qualities of Quaid, Haden-Churchand Parker. …Gritty Pittsburgh backdrop in a very real academicsurrounding adds to the slice-of-life tone.

  9. cohnmartin from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    I've just seen this film and read a number of reviews about it. Manyreviewers are referencing 'Little Miss Sunshine', 'The Family Stone',etc. But I left the theatre thinking of the wonderful, beautifullybalanced and developed, fun film, 'The Accidental Tourist'–anotherfilm about an emotionally deadened, difficult man who is suffering fromthe loss of a loved one and is 'redeemed' through love. Talk aboutquirky families; the one in 'Tourist' puts most of the rest to shame.The difference perhaps in the quality of these films (Tourist veryhigh, Smart People quite low, many others in the 'genre' somewhereinbetween) lies in that The Accidental Tourist was based on the highlycrafted, moving novel of the same title by the gifted writer AnneTyler. What stands out for me again and again as I work up my courageto attend recent releases is that the quality of screenplay writing inHollywood and elsewhere is low, low, low. Rushed, pressured,unbaked–too many films being made too fast, with scripts that bore andconfuse us with unconvincing plots and thin characters. This film,Smart People, could have been–with revision and review–a much better,more engaging, moving picture. The script simply wasn't ready forproduction; the story isn't there.

  10. jhusk13 from United States
    30 Mar 2012, 9:23 pm

    I definitely enjoyed this movie, and i suspected I would when i sawthat the producers of "sideways" did this movie also. Dennis Quaidplayed a different type of character in this movie than those younormally see him play. He did a great job in this role as a very analand inapproachable widowed professor. His daughter, who seems to befollowing in daddy's footsteps (Ellen Page) did a fantastic job aswell. Rounding out the dysfunctional family is the estranged adoptedbrother: Thomas Haden Church. I grew up on wings, which makes it nosurprise that he's my favorite character in the movie. He representsthe antithesis of this father/daughter combo, and completely shakes uptheir very private and inaccessible little world.

    all in all, i gave this movie 8 stars, not 10. the reasoning behindthat is that Thomas Haden Church's character seems to react in acompletely different manner than one would expect, after half of themovie has passed. That's a difficult sentence to interpret, i realize.What i'm trying to say is that his character turns in a direction thatdoesn't seem to follow suit from what you've learned of him in thefirst half of the movie. Obviously there's an event that triggers thischange, but it still doesn't sit well with me.

    Also; I don't really see the need for the brother character, he didn'tbring much of anything to the movie at all…

    anyways, worth the expense to see the movie.

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