This new dramedy from Noam Murro is a mixed bag in that it can meander at times, but is also genuinely hilarious more than it wallows.
Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) is an English professor who has to be driven around for 6 months after possibly suffering a seizure. Enter Chuck (
The movie falls into pretty conventional arcs and is pretty predictable along the way, but the film is funny, with a lot of really good laughs.
The acting is pretty good across the board thankfully. Quaid’s deadpan and sad man is hardly an original or new kind of character to film, but he does a good job of painting a sympathetic and realistic man for us to examine. Church is fantastic as the dead beat step-brother who makes a conventional arc but is consistently hilarious throughout the film with his irreverence and “advice.” Ellen Page is great again in her first release post-Juno, though she filmed this before that, and sells the snotty smart girl to a T. She carries a sarcastic/attacking bite to her that just cuts to people’s cores that works really well for the character and her film. Sarah Jessica Parker is the weak link in the film, though I think it’s more her character then it is her acting, she doesn’t have a lot to work with unfortunately.
Smart People, in the end, is an entertaining and consistently funny film. It might not be that original, though it feels fairly fresh, and the good turns by the actors is attribute to that. If you see it because of Page you won’t be disappointed as she continues her successful run and Church is great as well. The movie is a decent dramedy that’s story takes some awkward turns that don’t really work, but is saved by the successful humor and good acting.