The Best and the Brightest (2011)
Set in the world of New York City's elite private kindergartens, The Best and the Brightest centers on a fresh-faced young couple from Delaware, Jeff and Samantha, who have only recently moved into town, and the extreme lengths they must go to in order to get their five-yearold daughter into school. Every private school in the city informs Sam that she's simply too late to apply for a kindergarten spot this fall. But Sam will not be denied. The only way Sue is able to arrange it is by telling the headmistress a critical lie: that Jeff is a renowned poet. Keeping this ridiculous lie aloft is the main action of the movie, as Sam and Jeff are forced to prove their poetic bona fides not only to the school's headmistress but to the entire school board. -- (C) Official Site … More
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Critic Reviews for The Best and the Brightest
...it's finally impossible to label The Best and the Brightest as anything more than a sporadically amusing misfire.
A slim pan. While there's a certain novelty of setting and a lot of its dialogue pops, the movie's chief problem is the fact that it doesn't seem to wholly embrace the arguably detestable nature of its characters.
A politically incorrect farce that's increasingly preposterous and inane yet nonetheless hilarious, zany and bold. Amy Sedaris has never been funnier.
Absurd premise and weak script doom this comedy about haute-preschool angst.
Josh Shelov's smug and smutty farce employs an estimable cast in an only sporadically funny story...
Flies off its comic rails after an engaging start, never to land back on solid ground.
The Best and the Brightest is amusing at times but never more than a modest diversion, lacking the cleverness and imagination required to turn it into more than a one-joke movie.
What begins as a skewering of big-city elitism at its most absurd and nonsensical turns out to be a permanent detour down an extremely narrow tributary, as one good joke slowly gets the life squeezed out of it.
This is a positive review for a mediocre movie with outstanding performances. The Best and the Brightest doesn't describe this movie - only its cast.
Dimly plays out like a waking daymare Alexander Payne thought up while sitting disinterestedly through last fall's disinteresting Waiting for Superman.
[A] Manhattan-set comedy of errors that's seriously more error than comedy.
It may dawn on you that the film really only has one, big joke up its sleeve, but like The Aristocrats it finds so many great ways to tell it that the punchline rarely matters.
Audience Reviews for The Best and the Brightest
Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Bonnie Somerville, Amy Sedaris, Peter Serafinowicz, Christopher McDonald, Kate Mulgrew, Kelly Coffield, Steve Park, Jenna Stern, Bridget Regan, John Hodgman
Director: Josh Shelov
Summary: New arrivals Jeff and Samantha are determined to get their 5-year-old daughter into New York City's most elite private kindergarten. But there's only one opening left, and the couple is about to find out just how cutthroat the competition is.
My Thoughts: "A funny, raunchy, dark comedy. Peter Serafinowicz was probably the raunchiest and funniest one for me. I just think that kind of vulgar behavior is funny. Maybe there is something horribly wrong with me, but then again maybe not. Neil Patrick is always great in these types of roles. Bonnie Somerville held her own as well. It was a great cast for what the film is. The whole story is quite unimaginable which makes it that much better. The fact that these people actually see beauty or pure talent in these explicit writings is unfathomable to me. But it's a lot of fun watching it. Great little comedy that I'm glad I didn't pass on."
At this point in Neil Patrick Harris' career, he could sell just about any film. The problem with The Best and The Brightest is that it under-utilized him. The situation that Jeff and Samantha endure while attempting to get their child into school after a big move is so far-fetched that it becomes impossible to enjoy. Though I believe people can be duped, this film comes off like one of those poorly produced National Lampoon or American Pie spin-offs. However, the dead-pan performances from NPH and new-comer Peter Serafinowicz make the film much more than it is.More
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