Laura Smiles (2006)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Laura Smiles Photos

Movie Info

A woman haunted by the untimely death of her former fiancée attempts to ease her psychic suffering by marrying another man and living the idealistic suburban life in director Jason Ruscio's vivid existential drama. Laura (Petra Wright) was in her mid-twenties when her fiancée Chris (Kip Pardue) was stricken down by a taxi in the streets of Manhattan. Flash forward nine years and Laura has remarried and given birth to a child, yet the pain of her past prompts her to embark into a series of promiscuous and self-destructive extramarital affairs. Having never truly dealt with the death of Chris, Laura seeks out the aid of a therapist as the memories come flooding back accompanied by a tidal wave of grief-stricken emotion. Her mind slowly consumed by tragedy and her fragile psyche finally shattered by her failed attempts to seek solace in the comforts of her past, Laura's affair with her husband's best friend Paul finds her harrowing journey careening to a dangerous and unpredictable end.
R (for sexual content, language and brief violence)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Kip Pardue
as Chris
Ted Hartley
as Laura's Therapist
Stephen Sowan
as Billy the Clerk
John Moody
as Steve
Arie Polluck
as Michelle
Scott Chernoff
as Actor in Play
Arman Hammer
as Waiter
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Laura Smiles

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (11)

Ms. Wright and all her acting colleagues provide very persuasive performances amid the shifting perspectives of Mr. Ruscio's convoluted storytelling.

Full Review… | August 8, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

Ruscio would rather add forced narrative complications than get to the actual core of what he's tossing out there, the sacrifices made in the name of relationships, dreams dashed or discarded.

Full Review… | August 2, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The movie Little Children wanted to be.

Full Review… | August 2, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

It casts an increasingly hypnotic spell, thanks in no small measure to Wright - a fearless actress (and the real-life wife of writer-director Ruscio) who brings this sometimes despicable, often heartbreaking character to life with every atom of her being.

Full Review… | August 2, 2007
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Could have used much more of the sly and subtle humor that only occasionally pops up.

August 1, 2007
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Part domestic drama, part thriller, Laura Smiles is so ambitious that its ultimate failure is more depressing than anything in its dark script.

Full Review… | July 27, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Laura Smiles


Clever editing. Very Frenchie in style, neat, decent, & surprisingly absorbing. Petra Wright is simply wonderful.


[font=Century Gothic]In "Laura Smiles," Laura(Petra Wright) seems to be the perfect housewife living in suburbia. She is married to Mark(Mark Derwin), a kind insurance executive, and mother to an eight-year old boy. But something is missing...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Nine years before, she had been an actress in off-off-Broadway plays, engaged to a writer, Chris(Kip Pardue), who had just completed his first novel. Then, tragedy struck...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Laura Smiles" is an intriguing movie about how the perfect life may not be perfect for everyone. The film's structure reflects how much the lead character is disconnected, as she lives her life partially in the past when she was happiest. In the present, Laura is sleepwalking, passing as happy to everyone around her.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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