Smart People

I enjoy a good intelligent movie.  If The New Yorker is invoked, or existentialism, or the idiosyncrasies of the overly intellectual, chances are I will like that movie.  That’s the reason I find myself so drawn to Noah Baumbach films.  Now there is a new inheritor of that esteemed genre.

Starting this August 12th, now available on DVD from Miramax and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment comes one of the most intelligent comedies of this year.  Smart People is ready to lope into your living room and leave you laughing.  Bring home this hilarious and compelling film today.

From the producer of Sideways comes the inaugural film by Noam Murro and a script by novelist Mark Jude Poirier.  Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page and Thomas Hayden Church star in this touching comedy about intelligent people who are emotional idiots.  Quaid is the widower English professor as a university professor who is terrible with people, Parker his former student who is a doctor now, Page his over-achieving daughter and Church his lackluster brother.  Quaid has a seizure and Parker treats him, so Church must drive him around for six months.  Failed dates, parental failure, oedipal complexes and intelligent awkwardness abound.  Then comes resolution.

The special features included in this DVD are a selection of bloopers, nine deleted scenes which didn’t make the cut for the theatrical version, an optional audio commentary from director Noam Murro and writer Mark Jude Poirier and a selection of interviews with the cast and crew of the film.

Once I found out this film was connected to Sideways, I was apprehensive about it actually being a decent film.  I loathed that film and I can’t stand Sarah Jessica Parker.  Parker added nothing to this film – she was little more than a place holder who served to advance the plot at convenient times.  I felt that Dennis Quaid was trying a little too hard to channel Jack Nicholson at some points, but all in all, he did a wonderful job of being the cantankerous professor.  Thomas Hayden Church was wonderfully odd in his role and Ellen Page was completely gorgeous and amazing as the sarcastic and driven high school senior.  There was a son in the picture, but he seemed like such an afterthought it was ridiculous.  I seriously worry that Ellen Page is becoming typecast, after being the same character (essentially) in Hard Candy, Juno, and this film.  I was very impressed with this film, much more so than I anticipated being.  I wholly recommend this movie as an intelligent alternative which will still make you laugh.  In fact, one of the funniest parts of the movie is when the professor is talking to his book agent about how his new book will be named as offensive by NPR and in no time he’ll be defending it on Charlie Rose.  It’s hilarious because it’s true and I’ve seen it so many times.

You won’t have to dumb down to enjoy this Smart comedy.

This DVD is available at

Nathaniel Jonet

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