6.2/10
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116 user 164 critic

Smart People (2008)

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1:45 | Trailer

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

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Writer:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nancy
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William
Don Wadsworth ...
Hadley
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Roth
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Curtis
Kevin James Doyle ...
Rodney
Paul Huber ...
Ben (as Paul J. Huber)
Iva Jean Saraceni ...
Volunteer
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Parking Lot Attendant
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Sometimes the smartest people have the most to learn

Genres:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

11 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Una familia genial  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Lawrence Wetherhold: [stilted date conversation] We respond to literary texts using precisely the same fundamental interpretive categories that authors and poets use to create them. So there's no need to posit any kind of unstable ontology, or ruptured consciousness. You following me?
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Stitch
Written by Suze DeMarchi
Performed by The Baby Animals
Courtesy of Candirose Pty Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It was a gamble, but good film!
11 April 2008 | by See all my reviews

Smart People - Smart People had a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it's far better than that. Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennie Quaid) is a "holier than thou" widowed professor you unfortunately meet once in awhile. He's the sort who's deeply invested in his subject but can neither make it accessible nor allow the students any time to discuss it. He's a brilliant asshole essentially. He meets a physician in a hospital after a head injury and begins to reevaluate his life and his happiness. He has a dead-beat brother-in-law (Thomas Haden Church who steals every scene he's in), a daughter (Ellen Page) who is a young Ann Coulter in the making, and a son (Ashton Holmes) to whom he never talks.

This film is quite funny! Page and Church were definitely the stand-outs, but I appreciated Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker, two actors who I rarely ever have liked. It deals with a couple familiar rom-com problems (pregnancy, the "other woman" thing), but the film never feels overly sentimental or cliché. It's satisfying watching Quaid's character get some richly deserved socks to the stomach once in awhile, but you're with him anyway by the end. The humor is a little on the biting cold side, which goes well with my tastes, maybe not with some. Smart People overstays it's welcome a bit near the end, but a good movie overall.

B.


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