Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Smart People Review

It sure isn't as indie as it thinks it is, but even still Smart People has a few laughs and is saved by a really tremendous performance from Thomas Haden Church. Dealing with the pitch that smart people are inherently anti-social and elitist, Quaid really seems to try his best to make his far too quirky misanthrope professor character work. Buried beneath a goofy beard that actually covers up some of his performance, Quaid gets kind of lost here. Sarah Jessica Parker is, at best, mediocre as his love interest; her character is both cliched and underwritten and Parker does nothing in my eyes to improve it. Ellen Page, basically playing a right-wing neocon Juno, is amusing enough but, frankly, we've seen this performance better elsewhere. Thomas Haden Church is the real heart of the movie. His scenes bring life and fun to the otherwise pretentious and stuffy proceedings. Given all the best lines here, I say with some certainty that if the film had focused on Church's not-quite-as-smart adopted brother to Dennis Quaid the whole film would have been far more effective. Despite Church's best efforts everything here feels cliched and by-the-numbers (about as un-indie and as Hollywood romantic comedy as you can get)... tolerable enough but not worth recommending.

Overall Score: 5/10

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