1 hour, 33 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for sexual references and minor nudity.
DVD Features: Deleted scenes; The Smartest People - interviews with filmmakers and cast; Feature commentary by filmmaker Noam Murro and writer Mark Jude Poirier.
Dennis Quaid ... Lawrence Wetherhold
Sarah Jessica Parker ... Janet Hartigan
Thomas Haden Church ... Chuck Wetherhold
Ellen Page ... Vanessa Wetherhold
Ashton Holmes ... James Wetherhold
Christine Lahti ... Nancy
Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid "Far from Heaven") is a grumpy, brilliant, self-important English professor who lumbers around the Carnegie Mellon campus grousing about his underappreciated genius and grieving for his long dead wife. His daughter Vanessa (Ellen Page "Juno") is as brilliant, acerbic and miserable as he is. Her uncle Chuck (Thomas Haden Church "Sideways") is the family's black sheep. He's her father's adopted brother and one of those shiftless guys who can never seem to hang on to a job. When Lawrence has an accident and finds himself unable to drive, Chuck worms his way into their lives by moving in, promising to become his driver, but spending most of his time laying around the house.
Recovering from his accident, Lawrence considers romance with the doctor (Sarah Jessica Parker - TV's "Sex and the City") who treated him in the hospital. She had been in his class years ago in her freshman year, but he frightened her out of the English department and into a medical career. Her opinion of him now is the same as it was then, but she slowly warms to him, although she does call him on his arrogance. Few people who mattered to him had done that before and before long things take a romantic turn.
While Lawrence is the main character, the relationships among the other people are almost as important, including Vanessa's interaction with her Uncle Chuck and her jealous reaction to her father's affair. The point is that all these people are smart, but being smart doesn't necessarily mean you know how to function well. The entire cast is as brilliant as their characters are smart, and they carry the movie from beginning to end. The film directed by newcomer Noam Murro is occasionally funny and frequently touching, it also feels genuine and it's sweet as well. But it's the four lead performances that make seeing this movie worthwhile.