In Manitoba, Hagar Shipley is nearing 90. She has little, she tells us, but her memories. Over several weeks, during which she runs away from her son and daughter-in-law who want to place ... See full summary »
A hate crime on the campus of a New England college puts the school's dean (Parker) in a position where she has to examine her own feelings about race and prejudice, while maintaining her administration's politically correct policies.
Sarah Jessica Parker,
A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's floundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his healing touch.
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
unripe and reminiscent of the excellent 'The Accidental Tourist'
I've just seen this film and read a number of reviews about it. Many reviewers are referencing 'Little Miss Sunshine', 'The Family Stone', etc. But I left the theatre thinking of the wonderful, beautifully balanced and developed, fun film, 'The Accidental Tourist'--another film about an emotionally deadened, difficult man who is suffering from the loss of a loved one and is 'redeemed' through love. Talk about quirky families; the one in 'Tourist' puts most of the rest to shame. The difference perhaps in the quality of these films (Tourist very high, Smart People quite low, many others in the 'genre' somewhere inbetween) lies in that The Accidental Tourist was based on the highly crafted, moving novel of the same title by the gifted writer Anne Tyler. What stands out for me again and again as I work up my courage to attend recent releases is that the quality of screenplay writing in Hollywood and elsewhere is low, low, low. Rushed, pressured, unbaked--too many films being made too fast, with scripts that bore and confuse 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 for production; the story isn't there.
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