Smart People

Smart People

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Smart People

Commercial director Noam Murro makes the leap to feature films with this comedy drama concerning an aging professor-turned-bitter eccentric due to the death of his longtime wife. Ever since his wife passed away, Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid) has become overly acerbic and self-absorbed. He's alienated his son (Ashton Holmes) and transformed his daughter (Ellen Page) into a friendless overachiever. Now, at the precise moment Lawrence thought he had finally figured it all out, his life comes crashing down all around him as he falls for a former student (Sarah Jessica Parker) and his shiftless adopted brother (Thomas Haden Church) comes knocking on the door in search of a place to stay. Though Lawrence always relied on his intelligence to get him out of life's little jams in the past, it's going to take quite a bit more than intellectual thinking to move past this sticky stage in his suddenly chaotic life. David Denman and Christine Lahti co-star in this romantic comedy drama, which serves as the screenwriting debut of Goats and Modern Ranch Living author Mark Jude Poirier.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/12/2008
UPC: 0786936755978
Original Release: 2008
Rating: R
Source: Miramax
Sound: [Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time: 1:35:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Dennis Quaid Lawrence Wetherhold
Sarah Jessica Parker Janet Hartigan
Thomas Haden Church Chuck Wetherhold
Ellen Page Vanessa Wetherhold
Ashton Holmes James Wetherhold
David Denman William
Camille Mana Missy

Technical Credits
Noam Murro Director
Omar Amanat Executive Producer
Deborah Aquila Casting,Co-producer
Steffen Aumüller Executive Producer
Nuno Bettencourt Score Composer
Bill Block Executive Producer
Said Boudarga Executive Producer
Claus Clausen Co-producer
Michael Costigan Producer
James M. Emswiller Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Frazen Editor
Yana Gorskaya Editor
Marina Grasic Executive Producer
Richard Graves Asst. Director
Paul Hanson Executive Producer
Toby Irwin Cinematographer
Bridget Johnson Producer
Michael London Producer
Ron Mason Art Director
Kenneth Orkin Executive Producer
Bruna Papandrea Producer
Patti Podesta Production Designer
Mark Jude Poirier Screenwriter
Jennifer Roth Executive Producer
Edward N. Rugoff Executive Producer
Eric Sherman Asst. Director
Jennifer Smith Casting
Glenn Stewart Co-producer
Glenn M. Stewart Co-producer
Amy Westcott Costumes/Costume Designer
John Woldenberg Co-producer
Tricia Wood Casting

Scene Index

Deleted scenes; The smartest people; Bloopers/outtakes; Feature commentary by filmmaker Noam Murro and writer mark Jude Poirier

Customer Reviews

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Smart People 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This movie was purchased as gift. Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker are is an unlikely couple who find each other after so many years. Ms. Parker does better with series than movies. I recommend all of Sex and the City. She forever belongs with MR.BIG!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
SMART PEOPLE seems an inappropriate title for this film about chronic losers. Though Mark Poirier's script makes a point (just because someone is intelligent doesn't make them 'smart'), the concept quickly grows thin as the one- note song plays out without closure or redemption. It makes one wonder how a cadre of fine actors can accept roles in a film such as this. Dennis Quaid (surprisingly looking fat and old and worn out) is Lawrence Wetherhold, a widowed professor of literature at Carnegie Mellon a frustrated academic writer and depressed blowhard who mistreats his students and has little control over his shaky family - SAT obsessed daughter Vanessa (Ellen Page) and smolderingly angry son (Ashton Holmes) and 'adopted brother', the hippy irresponsible Chuck (Thomas Haden Church) who mooches off Lawrence when times are down. In a silly 'accident' Lawrence hits is head and has a traumatic seizure, the result of which removes his ability to drive a car for 6 months. His ER doctor Janet (Sarah Jessica Parker) happens to be one of Lawrence's former 'ignored' students and still maintains a crush on the difficult-to- love Lawrence. When their professional relationship merges into a courtship, Janet must drive and tolerate the bore Lawrence has become. The story follows these uninteresting people through minor catharses but nothing much really happens. At the end of the film we still care very little about any of these characters, and that is despite the fine acting skills this cast brings to the project. Could have been good, but falls short from entertaining - if the viewer can tolerate the film to the end. Grady Harp
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well written, acted, and directed--this film is one of the best of 2008. It nicely straddles the line between comedy and drama, with Oscar-worthy performances by Quaid, Haden Church, and Page. It's an intimate film that doesn't have a neat Hollywood ending. If you like subtle, sometimes dark humor, instead of the obvious broad humor of so many Hollywood movies, you'll enjoy this film. Even though this film was released in April, it's sure to be noticed come awards season. Quaid as Lawrence is the perfect depressed academic, whose depression leaks into everyone he encounters-- especially his family, and especially his daughter Vanessa, played brilliantly by Ellen Page. They're both in ruts, and it takes the arrival of Chuck (Thomas Haden Church) to bring them out. The relationship between Chuck and Vanessa is unlike anything I've seen on film, yet it feels so real. Watching them warm up to each other is really quite enjoyable and moving. Lawrence and Janet's (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) relationship is the anti-romantic comedy. What's great is that they're both socially incompetent, making the relationship quite realistically turbulent and devoid of the usual, predictable romantic comedy fare. This film is not a romantic comedy, and every scene Janet and Lawrence share is a reminder of this. Their relationship is funny and awkward. Well done. Five stars.
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