Smart People Reviews
Ellen Page and Thomas Haden Church are meant to score points with their lines Juno-style, and sitcom-style, and they do. The subplot of her lonely infatuation with the adopted uncle goes bumpy as the uncle creates some distance, being a responsible adult, but starts withdrawing in the style of a child. (And more and more, the girl talks to him like she's a manipulative lech.) I don't know if the two characters' attitudes toward achievement and worldly acceptance are meant to average into some vision of real happiness and fulfillment. For some reason, we're supposed to love one loser unconditionally, no matter what he's doing to himself, and the other when she's not being imperious or meddlesome.
The heart of this is a feel-good movie selling its affections, which are sincere, inside the packaging of a subgenre: the dry-toned observational suburban bourgeois drama, where characters wear tweed and have great bookshelves but are unable to find love and happiness ... The bright side of every such tragedy is that filmmakers are able to find a group of expensive actors for only 2 million dollars.
The story is a good one (especially for an ex-grad student like myself), about getting past that immature stage when you can't stand that anyone is of an intelligence lower than yours (and when you can't stop presuming that absolutely everyone is). All the "smart people" depicted are stunted in some way, and in different ways, are all stuck in their teenage years.
Flaws? Yes, a couple. The film only scratched the surface of some of the deeper issues it was trying to discuss, and I didn't really care for the soundtrack entirely by Nuno Bettencourt - but at the same time, I thought it was a highly watchable slice of life made from a pretty snappy script.
its a typical story of one person who is grumpy and horrible who goes trough an event which then changes them and this movie follows it well!
A amusning movie in places but not a great movie at all!
The most important part of this kind of film is the cast, and Smart People certainly has an interesting one. Ellen Page is the reason I wanted to watch this, but Dennis Quaid and Thomas Hayden Church acquitted themselves well, too. I even thought Sarah Jessica Parker did fairly well, and I never could have pictured myself uttering that phrase before seeing this movie. Smart People doesn't tread any new territory, and it certainly has its flaws, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless.
"Smart people" is a dialogue based indie film that has also been advertised as a comedy. Well, boring it is, for sure...
The characters are pretty dysfunctional and not that interesting. They all seem to have bigger than life problems and it's quite depressing..
Good comedy could've been made with more talented filmmakers but "Smart People" shows only at brief moments its hidden comedy.
There's basically nothing wrong with the movie but film's should be entertaining. This ain't. Good drama of deranged people, that's all.
No, seriously...where did it go and was it even trying to go anywhere?
So caught up in attempting to be "smart" it loses itself to contrivance and the trappings of having a good cast with little material.
The characters are really quite thin even though we have some fine actors to flesh them out. Ellen Page simply played a different version of "Juno" and she has so much more range than that. Thomas Hayden Church was great, but to what end? Dennis Quaid simply looked old and haggard which worked as his character was a self-proclaimed curmudgeon. Sarah Jessica Parker was...well...she was.
There could have been some interesting character development, but that was left untouched. We have some very bland hosts that attempt to entertain us with quips and tepid repartee.
Maybe I am being a little overly harsh as I really expected so much more from this movie, but it just dragged and when it ended I felt as if I hadn't moved or been moved.
Watch it for its component parts, but know that there is little to be seen here save for some talented actors doing the best with a reimagining of "The Wonder Boys" that fails in its execution.
If you can live with that this is fine fare for an evening of vanilla...no syrup.
Not for your average movie-goer, this one. Although the situation is teed up nicely for a typical feel-good ensemble gush-fest, it resists that temptation and takes you to a place where the characters are not, although they seem to need it, ready for rehab. It has an easy, rambling style that gradually rather than gratuitously opens their world to us without (for the most part) overly relying on hackneyed situations and gimmicks (although Quaid's insistence on keeping his wifes clothing was not one of them). In fact, the situations portrayed are so dark and lo-keyed that I wondered if this movie could have been made without the ready-made typecast qualities of Quaid, Haden-Church and Parker. ...Gritty Pittsburgh backdrop in a very real academic surrounding adds to the slice-of-life tone.