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39-year-old April Epner's childish husband and school teacher colleague Benjamin/Ben leaves her, but with her biological clock ticking ever more loudly. Her dying bossy adoptive mother is very vocal about her disappointment, while her natural son Freddy, a doctor, is most understanding. Shy but fascinating British author Frank meets April, his doted son Jimmy Ray's teacher, which soon leads to a full-flung affair. At the same time April's birth mother Bernice Graves locates her and begins attempting to establish a relationship. On top of all these balls in the air, April discovers she's finally expecting Ben's baby. Written by
When Tim Robbins directed his first feature film, Bob Roberts (1992), Helen Hunt appeared in a brief cameo as a television news reporter. When Hunt made her feature directorial debut with this film, Robbins returned the favor and appears briefly as one of the interviewees on the Bette Midler character's talk show. See more »
The passenger side shoulder belt in April's car is present for Bernice's scene and missing for Frank's. See more »
Seen at a September 2007 Toronto Film Festival screening.
First time director, Helen Hunt, said this movie was 10 years in the making. Her passion for the film and subject matter is evident, but also sets her up for her biggest downfall. She indulges the movie (her baby) which is interesting given this is relationship themed (mother/ daughter). Had she struck closer to that thread, the movie would have a tighter, more focused feel.
As it is, the outer reach of her film, a foray into her intimate, romantic relationships, with the intent of colouring her main character (April) instead seems like an untrained hand that colours outside of the lines. As a movie director, if this was her greatest weakness; I still give her kudos for doing a pretty good job. The woman took on a heavy load: first time directing, co-producer, co-writing the screenplay, and acting in the main role, all done on a 27 day shoot schedule! I almost feel guilty for any criticism.
At the post-screening Q&A Ms Hunt told us that the original story centred exclusively on the mother/daughter relationship. She wrote in the characters of Ben, her passive husband (Matthew Broderick) and Frank, her 'quickest rebound in history' mate (Colin Firth) herself. Understandablly she wants to add subtext to April's world and all the issues she's dealing with, but I felt somewhat 'pinballed' from scene to scene without feeling a smooth transition. A little more editing of these extra layers would help.
I can't leave it unsaid that what repeatedly struck me was why April loved her husband and continued to connect with him. He was such a shallow and thoughtless person. To me, that particular character was the weakest link in the movie.
Overall, I found many funny and poignant moments in the movie and think it deserves a look by a larger audience.
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