Little Help

Little Help

5.0 1
Director: Michael J. Weithorn

Cast: Jenna Fischer, Chris O'Donnell, Kim Coates

     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

A widowed dental hygienist gets caught up in a pair of elaborate lies while growing increasingly attracted to her smitten brother-in-law in this comedy drama from King of Queens executive producer Michael J. Weithorn. In the wake of 9/11, Laura Pehlke (Jenna Fischer) finds her life fallingSee more details below

Overview

A widowed dental hygienist gets caught up in a pair of elaborate lies while growing increasingly attracted to her smitten brother-in-law in this comedy drama from King of Queens executive producer Michael J. Weithorn. In the wake of 9/11, Laura Pehlke (Jenna Fischer) finds her life falling apart. Not only is her husband, Bob (Chris O'Donnell), having an affair, but lately their son, Dennis (Daniel Yelski), has begun displaying all the tell-tale signs of tween rage. Then, just when it seems like things around the Pehlke household couldn't get any more tense, Bob drops dead due to a heart condition that he intentionally kept secret for fear of divulging his extramarital fling. Suddenly, Laura's overbearing mother, Joan (Lesley Ann Warren), and pushy sister, Kathy (Brooke Smith), are insisting she ship Dennis off to private school and sue the hospital where Bob was "misdiagnosed." Meanwhile, after enrolling in a new school, insecure Dennis tells his classmates that his father was a NYC fireman who perished heroically while rescuing people from the Twin Towers. The two lies snowballing as her stress begins to peak, Laura finds that the only person who seems to sympathize with her plight is Kathy's husband, Paul (Rob Benedict), who harbored a major crush on her back in high school, yet barely registered on her radar. Two decades later, Laura finally notices him. Now the closer that Laura and Paul grow, the more apparent it becomes that they both desire more from their relationship than either of them are willing to admit.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The conventional wisdom is that little films about people's everyday problems can't get made anymore, especially if the main character is female. A Little Help proves that conventional wisdom isn't always right. Jenna Fischer stars as Laura, a thirtysomething dental hygienist unhappily married to the handsome and successful corporate real-estate businessman Bob (Chris O'Donnell). She thinks Bob is cheating on her, and when she confronts him about it, he tells her she drinks too much, does a poor job raising their son, and has let herself go. Laura's type-A sister, Kathy (Brooke Smith), intensifies Laura's penchant for self-loathing by always telling her how she's messing up. An unexpected conclusion to the marriage problem surfaces when Bob dies from an undiagnosed heart condition, but that's hardly the end of Laura's troubles. Her moody tween son, Dennis (Daniel Yelsky), tells his new classmates that his dad died in 9/11, and Kathy's easy-going husband, Paul (Rob Benedict), confesses that he's been in love with Laura since high school. Writer/director Michael J. Weithorn has a warm humanity going for him. He loves these characters -- even the most damaged of them, and even when they are behaving at their absolute worst -- and boy can his main character be difficult to like. Fischer is fearless in that capacity; it's not common in a movie to see a mother lose herself to genuine anger and frustration when dealing with a moody child, but there's a brutal verbal fight between Laura and Dennis at one point that best reflects the film's ability to make us confront our ambivalence toward the characters. Fischer benefits the most from the movie's humanism since she has the most screen time, yet all of the actors find a balance where we are quite fond of them for some reasons, and hate them for others. Brooke Smith thrives in this zone, as does Rob Benedict, who turns Paul into an attractive alternative for Laura until you realize that his best feature -- his patience -- might cost him the woman he loves. Although this is Weithorn's first feature film, he's had a long career in television, and that shows in A Little Help's episodic structure. There isn't much narrative momentum, but there is an abundance of interesting, flawed, and complicated characters, and that keeps us engaged in the movie even when the occasional scene feels unformed or there just for exposition. The humanism informs not just the film's style and point-of-view, but its moral as well -- which Weithorn makes explicit in a bittersweet story shared by one of the characters. While A Little Help isn't perfect, the movie works well enough that you'll forgive not only the characters' flaws but the film's as well.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/2011
UPC:
0014381747423
Original Release:
2010
Rating:
R
Source:
Image Entertainment
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
55,609

Special Features

Bonus Jakob Dylan music video; Actor interviews; Trailer; TV spot

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jenna Fischer Laura
Chris O'Donnell Bob
Kim Coates Mel Kaminsky
Lesley Ann Warren Joan
Brooke Smith Kathy Helms
Aida Turturro Nancy Feldman
Rob Benedict Paul
Daniel Yelsky Dennis
Nadia Dajani Angela Behar
Sam McMurray Big Bad Dan
Ron Leibman Warren
Arden Myrin Ms. Gallagher
Lynn Cohen Mrs. Cosolito
Shari Albert Rhonda
Gracie Bea Lawrence Gracie
Joy Suprano Julie
Jim Florentine Brian
Michelle Hurst Eileen
Miles Williams Christopher
Sarah Wilson Amanda
Mark Vincent Garage Mechanic
Markus Goldberg Birthday Party Guest
Zach Page Kyle
Elaine Kussack Sara
Sara Kapner Wendy
Brandon Perler Noah
Carla Briscoe Kristen

Technical Credits
Michael J. Weithorn Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Antonio Arroyo Sound Mixer
Russell Boast Casting
Liz Gallacher Musical Direction/Supervision
Jenny Gering Costumes/Costume Designer
Joe Gressis Editor,Producer
Tom Harting Cinematographer
Dena Hysell Producer
Richard Larimore Sound/Sound Designer
Kelly McGehee Production Designer
Richard Pagano Casting
Glen Trotiner Associate Producer,Asst. Director
Austin Wintory Score Composer

Read More

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Little Help
1. Chapter 1 [:08]
2. Chapter 2 [:14]
3. Chapter 3 [4:48]
4. Chapter 4 [8:37]
5. Chapter 5 [13:20]
6. Chapter 6 [7:19]
7. Chapter 7 [9:53]
8. Chapter 8 [10:52]
9. Chapter 9 [14:11]
10. Chapter 10 [10:23]
11. Chapter 11 [3:51]
12. Chapter 12 [10:22]

Read More

Videos

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >