Smart People DVD Review

25 Sep

First off, don’t forget about your ice cream!!!

As I told you the other day, I rented Smart People on DVD from Redbox. It was a great value (free)! All kidding aside, I enjoyed this movie. The movie stars Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page (Juno) and Thomas Haden Church (Wings). The movie is a comedy, but isn’t one of those fall out of your seat comedies like Tropic Thunder. It is more of a “smart” comedy (if that makes any sense).

The movie revolves around a widowed Carnegie Mellon professor, Lawrence Wetherhold (Quaid), with two children. He seemingly hates his job and his students and doesn’t bother to even learn their names. His adopted brother Chuck (Church) shows up to borrow more money and stay in Wetherhold’s house rent free for a while, which conversation tells you this isn’t the first time. Chuck becomes needed when Lawrence, while checking up on his son (Ashton Holmes) in his dorm at Carnegie Melon, gets his car is towed which leads to a fall from a fence and a trip to the ER where he meets an ex-student and current ER doctor Janet (Parker). Seeing her freshman professor again reminded her of an old school girl crush she once had. An interesting love story ensues between the two.

Throughout the movie Wetherhold is trying to sell a book he had written but we see as it appears every publisher turns him down. Finally one agrees to publish it, but with many edits. Leading to a new title for the book “You Can’t Read.” We follow the ups and downs as Wetherhold screws up his relationships and tries to fix them. His adopted brother meanwhile tries to convince his super smart stuck up niece (Page) to loosen up a little and ends up getting her drunk (shes 17) and having to fight off her unwanted advances.

The movie felt very real to me. I understood the strains and disconnects between the characters and saw as they strived to be better. Quaid’s portrayal of an arrogant pompous professor is giggle worthy. The scene where he re-reads Janet’s paper which he originally graded a C. He then re-grades the ten year old paper a B-, before drinking more gin and putting it back to a C. He later tries to explain to Janet why he had given the paper a C in the first place, not realizing that the grade was not the important issue. I’ve been in situations where I focus in on the wrong things and miss the big picture so I got where the writers were going.

Eventually the whole family is able to come together and move forward through their issues. They grow closer and the movie ends on a happy note. The movie made me laugh, almost cry and generally feel good at the end.

Funniest scene of the movie: Chuck drives Lawrence to the hospital to make up with Janet. While in the car he gives Lawrence some advice “Remember, only four words ‘I’m sorry. I love you'” “That’s five words Chuck” “This is not the time to be counting words!” [Lawrence exits car- Chuck yells for everyone to hear] “Remember, I’m sorry! I love you!”

This movie is definitely worth a rent (especially at Redbox) and I’m probably going to see if I can pick up a cheap used copy at MovieStop!

I would give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars. This is big, because I normally cannot STAND SJP.


One Response to “Smart People DVD Review”

  1. plaloma3d September 25, 2008 at 9:49 pm #


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