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Lawrence Wethrehold is a widowed, acerbic and self-absorbed literature professor who has alienated his son and turned his daughter into an overachieving, friendless teen. He falls for Janet, one of his former students, while at the same time his ne'er-do-well brother unexpectedly shows up at this door, triggering in him the need to change and reconnect with his family before he can make any steps forward in his life.
Comedy (Dark) Romantic - This is a somewhat dark comedy aimed at older viewers and fans of
star Dennis Quaid. Fans of Sarah Jessica Parker and Ellen Page may
be disappointed by their fairly limited screen time.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Above Average Those who find comfort in competently made but overly familiar stories may enjoy what Smart People have to offer. For me, it was too thin to truly satisfy.
USA TodayFull Review Above Average Though the principals are so appealing with their smart, comical exchanges, the film's forced situations keep it from being the clever, engaging tale it aspires to be.
Note: The rating
above is our interpretation of what the critic would give this movie based on
their review. We are not affiliated with these critic's in any way.
OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 99 moviegoers:
TEENS:Only a couple of females. One loved it and one thought it was good/average.
TWENTYSOMETHINGS:Only a few in this age group. Most enjoyed it, at least to some degree.
ADULTS: A little less than half of the males and females enjoyed "Smart People" very much. About half rated it as a good/average movie. Twenty percent or so rated it below average. These are decent reviews but not great. A lower priced matinee may be a wise choice.
Professor Lawrence Wetherhold (DENNIS QUAID) might be imperiously brilliant, monumentally self-possessed and an intellectual giant - but when it comes to solving the conundrums of love and family, he's as downright flummoxed as the next guy. His collegiate son (ASHTON HOLMES) won't confide in him, his teenaged daughter (ELLEN PAGE) is an acid-tongued overachiever who follows all too closely in dad's misery-loving footsteps, and his adopted, preposterously ne'er-do-well brother (THOMAS HADEN CHURCH) has perfected the art of freeloading. A widower who can't seem to find passion in anything anymore, not even the Victorian Literature in which he's an expert, it seems Lawrence is sleepwalking through a very stunted middle age. When his brother shows up unexpectedly for an extended stay at just about the same time as he accidentally encounters his former student Janet (SARAH JESSICA PARKER), the circumstances cause him to stir from his deep, deep freeze, with often comical, sometimes heartbreaking, consequences for himself and everyone around him.