A Little Help

2011

A Little Help

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

41%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 44

30%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,251
User image

A Little Help Photos

Movie Info

It's a movie for everyone whose life has been thrown off-course, out of whack, or simply not turned out the way they planned it. In other words, it's a movie for everyone, period. Set in suburban Long Island in the summer of 2002, with the psychic wounds of 9/11 still fresh, A Little Help is a story that takes a comic, searching and profoundly empathetic look at a few pivotal months in the life of dental hygienist Laura Pehlke (Jenna Fischer)-an ordinary woman whose life suddenly flies off the rails-and her heroic efforts to re-establish a sense of security and normalcy for herself and her son. -- (C) Official Site

Watch it now

Cast

News & Interviews for A Little Help

Critic Reviews for A Little Help

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (21)

  • The next chapter in Laura's story might be something worth rooting for, but here's hoping she has a different writer penning her lines.

    Aug 5, 2011 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A Little Help doesn't dazzle, and you can pick at its parts, but Fischer's performance gives the movie a sense of romantic weariness that lingers. Life is a series of disasters to be weathered, no matter how cute you are.

    Jul 29, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • This is one of the smarter, more honest scripts to be filmed in quite some time. And Jenna Fischer gives one of the smarter, more honest - and vulnerable, and tough - performances by an actress on the big screen in an even longer stretch.

    Jul 28, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • It's not that Jenna Fischer is miscast in "A Little Help.'' It's that she's mis-everything else: misused, misdirected, misanthropic.

    Jul 28, 2011 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • "A Little Help" settles for familiar and modest payoffs. It's not much. Yet Fischer clearly relishes the chance to play someone who's a demurely reckless mess.

    Jul 28, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • It's manipulative, yes, but clever and persuasive in its manipulations.

    Jul 28, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Little Help

  • Feb 02, 2012
    As much as I like Jenna Fischer as Pam in The Office I really wanted to like this movie.It started out good & I thought I was going to like it but towards the middle it began to fall apart.A Little Help was disappointing because it turned out not to be such a great movie.I don't know what it was but I didn't care too much for the ending either.I guess I had my hopes set way too high
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 07, 2011
    A Little Help is what I wish I could have given to the main character, who is so trapped under the dysfunction of her family that she is wreaking havoc on herself and within her mind. I was really surprised by the level of dramatic tension and haunting dexterity of Jenna Fischer's performance. Most well known for her awkward comedy chops on the NBC show The Office, Fischer seems destined to be a dramatic indie actress. She molds this film expertly as the disheveled Laura, who goes through a life changing experience and doesn't change. Early on her husband dies, and a chain reaction is set off that ruins the life of her son, changes the attitudes of her mother, sister, and brother-in-law, and leaves her penniless and lost without hope. Throughout the film we watch Laura squirm to find some salvation, some answer to the reason why she is outcast from everyone she meets. Laura is likable in many respects, and real in her lapses in judgment and the way she lives her life. She does try to find simple comforts, or at least some escape from the bitter mourning of her husband, and the judgmental looks of her young son. Her son, by the way, was certainly the best part of the movie, as he maneuvers through life by letting his mother lean on him in times of crises, and sets her out to dry during the others. The actor in question (Daniel Yelsky) is one to watch in the coming years. Really, it's about people whose lives haven't turned out the way they wanted by simple events they can't control. It's set in 2002, a while after 9/11, which was addressed within the film. It really helps open the wounds of many characters, and shows the pink underbelly of those with little to cling to. Really, it's impressive what this film did with what it had, and was great to say the least.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2011
    This movie is a little slow, but the cast is good. I always thought Fischer was easy to watch as an actress, regardless of what role she plays, and she doesn't disappoint in this one. Worth watching, but not going to win any awards.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 06, 2011
    Laura: YOU SUCK! After a man (Chris O'Donnell) dies due to a panic attack caused by stress given by his "lovely" wife Laura (Jenna Fischer), this dental hygienist attempts to re-establish a sense of security and normalcy for herself and her family, and she goes to great measures to make such preposterous events happen. Well this was clever. It's always fun being the only one in the theater (everyone else was seeing 'Drive', which is magnificent if you haven't already seen it), but also kind of sad. 'A Little Help' is criminally underrated. This gem is charming, poignant, realistic, and an all-around good time that's enjoyable for anyone who has been down in the dumps. This is a solid transition to indie cinema for Jenna Fischer of 'The Office'. You will barely think of her role on that show once you see this. Aside from being the best, most emotionally heartfelt performance of the year; Fischer is in the run for an oscar nomination. Other performances stand out too, including Christ O'Donnell, Kim Coates, and newcomer Daniel Yelsky. An all-around terrific film.
    Matt G Super Reviewer

A Little Help Quotes

News & Features