DVD Review: SMART PEOPLE (2008)
SMART PEOPLE premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, but I hadn’t heard of it until recently, when the DVD release was announced. Smart People was released today, August 12, on DVD and Blue Ray Disc.
And so it was with a curious mind that I took a look at the DVD.
Director: Noam Murro
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, Ellen Page, Ashton Holmes, David Denman, Camille Mana, and Christine Lahti
Release Date: August 12, 2008
Synopsis: Once an idealistic and ambitious academic, Professor Lawrence Wetherhold (Quaid) lost his passion for teaching when he lost his wife. Hunkered-down behind his books, Wetherhold has forgotten how to connect, even with his daughter, the acerbically witty Vanessa (Page). Suddenly a head injury sends Wetherhold to the emergency room where his world spins out of his control. Forced to depend on his brother (Church), a freeloading oddball, for transportation, Wetherhold is surprised to find himself attracted to his ER doctor and former ex student (Parker) and begins to emerge from his isolation—with surprising consequences for the entire family.
The Story: As I mentioned above, I only recently heard about Smart People, and was quite intrigued about it, especially because of the cast. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the movie quite as much as I thought I would. For some reason, the story did not appeal to me at all. I didn’t really care about the characters that much and I was really waiting to get to the end to see what the whole point of it was.
I will say this however, the ending was pretty good. It reconciled me with the movie a little. I actually felt like there was an evolution of the characters, which at least was satisfying.
The Cast: There is no way that I can criticize the cast, especially since it features Dennis Quaid, Ellen Page, and Thomas Haden Church. The story might not have appealed to me, but the actors were really good. They each had a very specific idea about their character and they translated that to the screen perfectly. I will make a special mention for Thomas Haden Church who plays slob so well, it’s almost endearing.
Check out two clips from the film and bloopers below, and see what you think:
Deleted Scenes – I sometimes find deleted scenes interesting, especially when they include a deeper exploration of the characters. The scenes on this particular DVD are fun to watch if you really loved the movie, but they don’t add much to the film.
The Smartest People – A featurette which includes interviews of the filmmakers and cast.
Not So Smart – Some bloopers and outtakes, which I always love to watch.
Feature Commentary by Filmmaker Noam Murro and Writer Mark Jude Poirier –
Overall: Although I might not have enjoyed the movie that much, it does have an impressive cast and I did read a few reviews of people who loved it. I think this is one of those films that you either love or hate. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it. It was just an ok film for me. If enjoyed the clips above, then I would suggest you check it out, but if not then you might want to pass on this one.