Smart People (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  11 April 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 20,500 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 115 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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2 nominations. See more awards »



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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
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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 »


Professor Wetherhold would not have been able to see his car being towed from his son's dorm room. His car is parked behind the east wing of Donner Hall (the actual dorm at Carnegie Mellon where the scene was filmed). The only place in Donner Hall from which it is possible to see the car from that angle is the common area of the dorm's 'A' floor, one floor above the parking lot. See more »


Vanessa Wetherhold: I actually got accepted to Standford 2 weeks ago.
Chuck Wetherhold: Really? But Carnegie Mellon is free for you, and Standford's - I don't know - 600, 700 hundred
Vanessa Wetherhold: Forty grand...
Chuck Wetherhold: Well your father's gonna kill you. But for the time being I'm filled with pride.
See more »


Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.86 (2010) See more »


Rush You
Written by Suze DeMarchi, David Leslie and Eddie Parise
Performed by The Baby Animals
Courtesy of Candirose Pty Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Less is more
27 April 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not for your average movie-goer, this one. Although the situation is teed up nicely for a typical feel-good ensemble gush-fest, it resists that temptation and takes you to a place where the characters are not, although they seem to need it, ready for rehab. It has an easy, rambling style that gradually rather than gratuitously opens their world to us without (for the most part) overly relying on hackneyed situations and gimmicks (although Quaid's insistence on keeping his wifes clothing was not one of them). In fact, the situations portrayed are so dark and lo- keyed that I wondered if this movie could have been made without the ready-made typecast qualities of Quaid, Haden-Church and Parker. ...Gritty Pittsburgh backdrop in a very real academic surrounding adds to the slice-of-life tone.

22 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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