Skip the Reruns! Living Out the Dog Days of Summer with Smart People on DVD!!
If you loved Sideways and As Good As it Gets, you might like Smart People, a witty comedy about a smart, yet lovable dysfunctional family with lots to learn. (Oh and that’s an understatement!)
Miramax’s Smart People is available on DVD and Blu-ray TM disc and features a well-rounded cast featuring Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page, and Thomas Haden Church including interviews, outakes and deleted scenes.
Directed by first-time feature filmmaker Noam Murro and scripted by novelist Mark Poirier, Smart People features Dennis Quaid as Professor Lawrence Wetherhold, Sarah Jessica Parker as Wetherhold’s and former student — and doctor. Ellen Page plays Quaid’s acidic disposition teenage daughter and Thomas Haden Church as his quirkily amusing under-achieving brother.
The movie revolves around Wetherhold who has lost his wife and his passion for teaching and life and buried himself in his book-leaving his daughter on her own — who has developed quite an attitude and wit. A head injury deposits the professor in the ER where he suddenly has to depend on others including his nearly out of control brother for transportation. , Wetherhold is surprised to find himself attracted to his ER doctor and former ex-student (SJP) and begins to emerge isolation–with surprising reactions and consequences for the entire ensemble.
Review: As long as you don’t expect too much from this film, it will be fine. It’s not rocket science, this is light (emphasis on the light) comedy and there are no seriously great performances here (some appear to be phoned in), However for summer fare, it’s ideal and perfect for the family if you have the quirky taste in films.
When I was offered this movie to review, the pitch included some films for Sarah Jessica Parker ( Failure to Launch) , Dennis Quaid (Vantage Point) and Ellen Page ( Juno and X-Men. Did you know she was in X-Men? I saw the movie. Never realized she was in it. ) What that does for me as a reviewer is set off warning bells that this might not be such a great movie– particularly when they only referenced one Quaid movie that never made it past opening weekend, and Parker’s Failure to Launch) that failed miserably to launch at the box office.
Short version: The plot was thin, the characters too stock, and the performances weren’t all that hot. It’s ok when you are looking at “repeat tv” or this– because this is at least something new, but don’t expect amazing performances from 4 great actors- because they are not there.
DVD & Blu-ray Bonus Features:
The Smartest People – interviews with the producers, cast and crew
Audio Commentary – view the film with commentary by director Noam Murro and writer Mark Jude Poirier
Not So Smart – a collection of outtakes from the film
Deleted Scenes – nine deleted scenes
Smart People At Sundance – watch exclusive footage from the premiere of Smart People at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival
Available at Bestbuy.com
Suggested Retail Price: DVD: $29.99 US, $35.99 CAN
Blu-ray: $34.99 US, $44.99 CAN
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