116 user 164 critic

Smart People (2008)

1:45 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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



(as Mark Jude Poirier)
3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A hate crime on the campus of a New England college puts the school's dean in a position where she has to examine her own feelings about race and prejudice, while maintaining her administration's politically correct policies.

Director: Mark Brokaw
Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Miranda Richardson, Victor Rasuk
Touchy Feely (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Rosemarie DeWitt, Ellen Page, Josh Pais
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A 90-year-old woman, rapidly losing her memory and knowing that sooner or later her life will be over, returns to the Manitoba farmhouse she grew up in to try and make peace with her dysfunctional family.

Director: Kari Skogland
Stars: Ellen Burstyn, Christine Horne, Ellen Page
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

15-year-old Tracey Berkowitz is naked under a shower curtain at the back of a bus, looking for her little brother Sonny, who thinks he's a dog.

Director: Bruce McDonald
Stars: Ellen Page, Zie Souwand, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
Love That Boy (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A young women who sets out to find a boyfriend get's more than she bargained for when she falls for a much younger boy.

Director: Andrea Dorfman
Stars: Nadia Litz, Nikki Barnett, Adrien Dixon
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

An adventurous coming-of-age story that follows young rebellious Sherry through Europe as she loses her illusions, virginity and lip ring.

Director: Alison Murray
Stars: Ellen Page, Natasha Wightman, August Diehl
Touch & Go (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: Scott Simpson
Stars: Jeffrey Douglas, Patricia Zentilli, Stephen Sharkey
Whip It (2009)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.

Director: Drew Barrymore
Stars: Ellen Page, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Wiig


Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Wadsworth ...
Kevin James Doyle ...
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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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 USA:

$4,092,465, 13 April 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$9,496,882, 1 June 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more 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 »


In the exterior New York hotel shots, which were actually shot in Pittsburgh, the taxi used is clearly a City of Pittsburgh cab, used as such in other parts of the movie, not a New York City taxi as suggested by the movie's story. Pittsburgh Cab Company checkers, logo and phone number are all visible on the side of the cab. The cab is also missing the NYC medallion, the medallion number on the roof, and the sub-letter on its license plate, all characteristics of New York City taxis. See more »


Lawrence Wetherhold: Just go home and get some sleep, and get the perfect SAT score.
Vanessa Wetherhold: That's what I've been trying to do.
Lawrence Wetherhold: mercurial...
Vanessa Wetherhold: I learned that word in the 5th grade.
Lawrence Wetherhold: fecundity...
Vanessa Wetherhold: Ah, English is my first language.
Lawrence Wetherhold: uxorious...
Vanessa Wetherhold: That's appropriately obscure - mind you I know it. Overly fond of one's wife.
Lawrence Wetherhold: That's my girl.
Janet Hartigan: I have a good one. eft...
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Ellen Page/Wilco (2008) 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 »

User Reviews

A Smart Idea
17 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

Professor Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) might be imperiously brilliant, monumentally self-possessed and an intellectual giant -- but when it comes to solving the conundrums of love and family, he's as downright flummoxed as the next guy. His teenaged daughter (Ellen Page) is an acid-tongued overachiever who follows all too closely in dad's misery-loving footsteps, and his adopted, preposterously ne'er-do-well brother (Thomas Haden Church) has perfected the art of freeloading. A widower who can't seem to find passion in anything anymore, not even the Victorian Literature in which he's an expert, it seems Lawrence is sleepwalking through a very stunted middle age. When his brother shows up unexpectedly for an extended stay at just about the same time as he accidentally encounters his former student Janet (Sarah Jessica Parker), the circumstances cause him to stir from his deep, deep freeze, with often comical, sometimes heartbreaking, consequences for himself and everyone around him. Smart People 10/10

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 116 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page