By Mack Chico
Rated: R for language, brief teen drug and alcohol use, and for some sexuality
Release Date: 2008-04-11
Starring: Mark Poirier
Official Website: http://www.smartpeople-themovie.com/
Despite its sharp cast and a few laughs, Smart People is too thinly plotted to fully resonate.
This is not Juno. In fact, I don’t think this movie gives anything new that we haven’t known about. People who are intelligent can be so smart that they lose touch on what’s important, they slowly distance themselves from those who care about them without even realizing it. Smart People got a lot of brain but… not enough heart. Yes it’s smart, witty, and occasionally funny but along the way, something is missing. Something that would make it captivating instead of boring, which is what it is.
All I can say is thank heavens Thomas Haden Church is in this movie. His character is probably the most interesting one. He’d come up with smart-ass remarks and comebacks that are entertaining. Not laugh out loud funny, but good enough to keep us from sleeping.
The tone of the movie for the most part is depressing. The filmmaker wants you to see how smart people can be so detached that when they start to feel something, they don’t know what to do with it or they react in the wrong way. Ellen Page’s character’s crush on her uncle, played by Thomas Haden Church is one example.
Dennis Quaid does an excellent job playing a clueless, unhappy professor, Sarah Jessica Parker has a certain charm and cuteness, but would somebody please give Ellen Page some other character to do!
Don’t get me wrong, I love Juno, but what Ellen Page needs now is not another independent movie (Hard Candy, Tracey Fragment, An American Crime).
She should try another big budget project that would challenge her to do a different role in a different style or genre (she was in X-Men 3 by the way)
The movie does okay in depicting a dysfunctional family without being too outrageous and messed up. But you’ll mostly get frustrated with how it can’t seem to carry itself and bring itself to a good conclusion or resolution.
It’s sorta like hearing a note held for the longest time with only a few fillers from time to time, but only a few unfortunately. The self-realization moments aren’t groundbreaking. This movie fails to leave a lasting impression. It’s another independent movie that will easily be forgotten in time.