6.2/10
21,659
118 user 158 critic

Smart People (2008)

Trailer
1:45 | Trailer

On Disc

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

Director:

Noam Murro

Writer:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Quaid ... Lawrence Wetherhold
Sarah Jessica Parker ... Janet Hartigan
Thomas Haden Church ... Chuck Wetherhold
Ellen Page ... Vanessa Wetherhold
Ashton Holmes ... James Wetherhold
Christine Lahti ... Nancy
Camille Mana ... Missy
David Denman ... William
Don Wadsworth Don Wadsworth ... Hadley
Robert Haley ... Roth
Patrick Sebes ... Curtis
Kevin James Doyle Kevin James Doyle ... Rodney
Paul Huber Paul Huber ... Ben (as Paul J. Huber)
Iva Jean Saraceni Iva Jean Saraceni ... Volunteer
Richard John Walters ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

11 April 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Una familia genial See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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 »

Quotes

Lawrence Wetherhold: Why would you have a baby with me?
Janet Hartigan: Because you don't know how to properly use a condom.
Lawrence Wetherhold: Message received.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It was a gamble, but good film!
11 April 2008 | by joestank15See 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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