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Smart People (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  11 April 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 20,396 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 114 user | 166 critic | 33 from

Into the life of a widowed professor comes a new love and an unexpected visit from his adopted brother.



(as Mark Jude Poirier)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Wadsworth ...
Paul Huber ...
Ben (as Paul J. Huber)
Iva Jean Saraceni ...
Parking Lot Attendant


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes the smartest people have the most to learn


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, brief teen drug and alcohol use, and for some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

11 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una familia genial  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,092,465 (USA) (11 April 2008)


$9,496,882 (USA) (30 May 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Rachel Weisz was originally cast opposite Dennis Quaid in this film, but she decided to leave the project. She was then replaced with Sarah Jessica Parker. See more »


When the congratulatory card slips out of Lawrence's manuscript, it is at about a 45 degree angle from the edge of the desk (roughly from Lawrence's point of view). In the next shot, it is perpendicular to the edge of the desk. This may be more obvious when using the stack of paper next to the card as a reference. See more »


Vanessa Wetherhold: Everybody hates me.
Chuck Wetherhold: If you tell people they're stupid, they'll usually hate you.
See more »


References Charlie Rose (1991) See more »


This Is Your Life
Written by Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone
Performed by Nuno Bettencourt and Suze DeMarchi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good, but don't go in expecting a comedy
24 April 2008 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

When I saw "Smart People" the trailer, I have to say that the first thought that came into my mind is "Sideways: Part 2". It had the same formula and characters. But I really wasn't as into Sideways as everyone else was, so I wasn't so excited to see this movie. But today I just decided to go ahead and give it a chance, I'm more grown up since I've seen Sideways, so why not just see what the film had to offer? I have to say while the movie does not excite me, I also see it doesn't excite too many people here on IMDb, it's a decent enough movie and worth the watch. The solid performances make the film likable and the story is interesting to watch, while it's not something that everyone can relate too, it's a good movie.

Lawerance is a college professor who isn't the most popular guy on campus, he's pompous, arrogant, and puts himself higher above his students while ignoring their plea's for extra help on assignments. His son hates him, his daughter admires him and is quite the over achiever, and his adopted brother is a scam artist. But when Lawerance has an accident while jumping fence, he hits his head, and meets former student, Janet Hartigan. They start to date, his daughter, Vanessa, goes through her life realizing she's never really had fun, and his adopted brother, Chuck needs this family just as much as Lawerance needs it.

Smart People, the major problem is that this was advertised as a comedy, it has some funny moments, but they're not what you would call laugh out loud. I'd say this is more of a drama with comedic elements, kind of like "Dan in Real Life", so Smart People didn't have "Smart Advertisement", but the movie is worth the watch. I would recommend it, it's an interesting film, not thrilling, so I would recommend probably waiting for the rental. But the cast pulls the movie together and makes it into a good drama.


59 of 77 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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