Smart People (2008)

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Lawrence Wetherhold is miserable and misanthropic: he's a widower, a pompous professor at Carnegie Mellon, an indifferent father to a college student and a high-school senior, and the reluctant brother of a ne'er-do-well who's come to town. A seizure and a fall send Lawrence to the emergency room where the physician, a former student of his, ends up going on a date with him. His daughter, Vanessa, lonely and friendless, who's been bonding with his brother, tries to sabotage dad and the doctor's relationship, but Lawrence is good at that without help. Is there any way these smart people can get a life? Can happiness be pursued beneath layers of irony?
Dennis Quaid as James Wetherhold
Sarah Jessica Parker as Janet Hartigan
Thomas Haden Church as Chuck Wetherhold
Ellen Page as Vanessa Wetherhold
Ashton Holmes as James Wetherhold
Christine Lahti as Nancy
Camille Mana as Missy Chin
David Denman as William
Don Wadsworth as Hadley
Robert Haley as Roth
Patrick Sebes as Curtis
Kevin James Doyle as Rodney
Paul Huber as Ben (as Paul J. Huber)
Iva Jean Saraceni as Volunteer
Richard John Walters as Parking Lot Attendant
Full cast
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Video Size
640x272 px
File Size
700 Mb
Video Codec
Video Bitrate
1032 Kbps
File Format
Download(33 Mb)
screenshots (15)

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I really expected a great movie but was very disappointed. When you find yourself (or your spouse) looking at your watch 40 minutes into the movie, you know you have just wasted good money. The movie was dry, slow, boring and depressing. Not how I want to forget about my day for just a little while and relax.


This is such a sweet movie, but it also has biting and wicked dialogue. Thomas Hayden Church is awesome as is Ellen Page. If you're one to appreciate smart drama over mindless action, then I think you would really like this movie.


Based on an advance preview: This film is being sold as a comedy-romance. I found exceptionally LITTLE to laugh at, and romantic only if you use its meaning of "IMPRACTICAL". It might better be described as, DYSFUNCTIONAL 'R US. On a technical level, all the main actors (Dennis Quaid as the father, Sarah Jessica Parker as a doctor, Thomas Haden Church as Quaid's brother, Ellen Page as Quaid's sarcastic & bitter daughter & Ashton Holmes as his often-ignored son) do a good job portraying their usually-strange characters. The problem is, so many of the characters are inherently OFF-putting (especially Quaid's arrogant, shuffling teacher). A friend agreed with me that it's hard to fathom WHY certain characters would be ATTRACTED to each other (i.e., Parker with Quaid and Page with Church). There are some interesting "commentaries" mixed in with the fluff, but it's all so subtle, you have to wonder if it's worth the effort. The film is not bad, but it's not very good. I'd give it 2.5*.


I was fortunate enough to see Smart People at a preview viewing in the fall. What a treat! Not only did I love the movie, but the cast was outstanding. I saw this movie before Juno and fell in love with Ellen Page's abilities. THomas Hayden Church as the adopted brother is priceless and I was very pleased with Dennis Quaid's performance as well. It was refreshing to see Sarah Jessica Parker in such a smart role (no pun intended) and the minor characters played their roles to the fullest. The movie moves along very smoothly and realistically. No Hollywood ending here. This is a great entertaining movie that I highly recommend. Enjoy Smart People.


This film falls in line with Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, and Charlie Bartlett. To those people who expect Hollywood glamor out of every film, this isn't for you. If you want something different and realistic without the dazzle and showiness definitely go see it. It centers around a professor of literature and his family. The adopted brother that comes into his life only when he needs money. The genius 17 year old daughter that's unhappy with her life. The ignored collegiate son. The conflict is the doctor the professor meets while he's in the hospital after a nasty fall. There are funny pieces of dialogue that came frequently. I enjoyed it. I had a hard time assigning a "so-so" or a "go" but decided since it's for a select audience that a "so-so" would do. Overall rating: 6.5

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