Smart People (2008)



Critic Consensus: Despite its sharp cast and a few laughs, Smart People is too thinly plotted to fully resonate.

Movie Info

Commercial director Noam Murro makes the leap to feature films with this comedy drama concerning an aging professor-turned-bitter eccentric due to the death of his longtime wife. Ever since his wife passed away, Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) has become overly acerbic and self-absorbed. He's alienated his son (Ashton Holmes) and transformed his daughter (Ellen Page) into a friendless overachiever. Now, at the precise moment Lawrence thought he had finally figured it all out, his life comes … More

Rating: R (for language, brief teen drug and alcohol use, and for some sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Romance, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Mark Jude Proirier, Mark Jude Poirier
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 12, 2008
Box Office: $9.5M
Miramax Films - Official Site


as Lawrence Wetherhold

as Janet Hartigan

as Chuck Wetherhold

as Vanessa Wetherhold

as James Wetherhold

as William

as Hadley

as Parking Lot Attendan...

as Waitress

as Bloomberg
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Smart People

All Critics (146) | Top Critics (43)

Unfortunately, Smart People has nothing original to say about its characters' dilemmas, but is content to tread waters that previous films have navigated with more humor and insight.

Full Review… | April 6, 2015
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Doesn't exactly oust The Royal Tenenbaums or The Squid and the Whale, but this family-go-round sitcom is a lot more accessible.

Full Review… | May 6, 2010
East Bay Express

Noam Murro's direction follows a sitcom blueprint

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

Smart People is a film of chuckles about smart but chuckle-headed people.

Full Review… | February 2, 2009
Fayetteville Free Weekly

It's so well-made, so well-acted and so impressively (for lack of a better word) smart that anyone who seeks it out will find something to admire and enjoy in its craft and heart.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008

Smarter than your average romantic comedy it may be, but this family-dysfunction indie is playing it a bit safe.

Full Review… | October 18, 2008

Audience Reviews for Smart People

Coming from a dysfunctional family I suppose I connected with this warped satirical movie. Well worth watching Ellen Page continues to shine in every movie shes in.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

One of my favorite movies. This film is a refreshing take on the role of smart people in society, taking one broken family trying to rebuild itself after the loss of their mother/wife. Quiad plays an antisocial literature proffesor, whose daugther, played by Ellen Page, is following in his footsteps. Throw in a degenerate uncle and an attractive female counterpoint and this movie is a classic recipe for a decent movie. Funny, sad and eye opening I really do love this movie.

Unknown Hobo

Super Reviewer

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