Thursday, February 12, 2009
Smart People. C
There are certain recent comedies that have that certain feel to them. They are all pretty similar and generally present dysfunctional characters, creative scripts, terrific actors, and acoustic scores. I guess you would call them (and I dislike this term by the way) 'smart comedies.' Let me name a few and maybe you'll know what I mean: 'Little Miss Sunshine,' 'Sideways,' or 'Lars and the Real Girl,' 'Juno.' If you have seen those films then you will know what I am talking about. 'Smart People' is obviously trying to fit into that group, but unfortunately it doesn't quite succeed. It has the ingredients, but not the story. In 'Sunshine,' the plot was centered around a beauty contest, in 'Lars' the plot was around a doll, and 'Juno' of course was about teen pregnancy. But here, there is nothing but the characters, and unfortunately they are, though entertaining, perfectly predictable. Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) is a struggling professor who is having trouble coping with the loss of his wife. His brother Chuck (Thomas Haden-Church) has decided to move in with him and his teenage daughter Vanessa (Ellen Page). To round off the characters is Lawrence's doctor Janet, (Sarah Jessica Parker) who slowly begins to bond with Lawrence. Chuck is obviously supposed to be the funny character here, and he is sort of funny, but he but he is also very shallow. All of the performances are good, especially Page, who is definitely one of new stars working today. But the story is obvious and there is no creative base of the plot, like in the previous mentioned movies. The idea in 'Smart People,' is that brains are of no importance when discovering the meaning of life, or what is important in it. We know this because of 'Forrest Gump.' I was looking forward to this film, but unfortunately I have to say it: Be smart, people, and skip this movie.