It's the summer of 1994, and the streets of New York are pulsing with hip-hop. Set against this backdrop, a lonely teenager named Luke Shapiro spends his last summer before university selling marijuana throughout New York City, trading it with his unorthodox psychotherapist for treatment, while having a crush on his stepdaughter.
Lifelong platonic friends Zack and Miri look to solve their respective cash-flow problems by making an adult film together. As the cameras roll, however, the duo begin to sense that they may have more feelings for each other than they previously thought.
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
Spenser's "Faerie Queene" is misspelled on the blackboard, an egregious error for an English Literature professor. That the camera lingers on the shot may indicate an intentional mistake by the filmmakers. See more »
Crassly opportunistic! It's clear now why they had not released this film before: it's mediocre and depressing.
This movie was made before "Juno," but remained on the shelf. It is clear now why--- it's just not very good. Ellen Page's Oscar nomination, and her incredible performance in "Juno" got some studio to do some thinking. "Aha!" they probably thought,"Here's a way to cash in her new found fame, and unload this turkey." The studio peeps were, in fact very smart people. The movie, however, is rather dull and depressed.
It was interesting to hear Page's perky "smart alec" voice in a character she played before "Juno." It indicates that much of what she showed us in "Juno" was HER, and not mere dialogue or direction.
Alas, the characters in "Smart People," especially Dennis Quaid's, were scruffy dim-bulbs, and not very pleasant, not admirable, nor watchable.
Bottom line, this clunker had sat unreleased and in the warehouse for a reason. It's not pure rubbish, but it comes mighty close. Its release now is pure commercial opportunism. Avoid it if you can!
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