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Article

Then She Found Me

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Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, ...

Then She Found Me

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
R
runtime:
100 minutes
Limited Release Date:
04/25/08
performer:
Colin Firth, Helen Hunt, Bette Midler
director:
Helen Hunt
distributor:
THINKFilm
author:
Alice Arlen, Victor Levin
genre:
Romance, Comedy, Drama

We gave it a B

Helen Hunt directed, co-wrote, produced, and stars in Then She Found Me, but this dramedy is in no sense a vanity project. Hunt the director makes Hunt the actress look completely beaten down — at times outright haggard — as she plays April Epner, a 39-year-old schoolteacher whose hopes of having a child seem to be dashed after husband Ben (Matthew Broderick) leaves her. When April’s adoptive mother dies, she embarks on tentative, often difficult relationships with her TV-show-host birth mother (Bette Midler) and a single-father romantic interest (Colin Firth). Not that this adaptation of Elinor Lipman’s 1990 novel is all scrunchy-faced gloom, however. Hunt’s movie-directing debut frequently crackles with nice gags, as when April’s brother (Ben Shenkman) misguidedly tries to cheer her up with the news that ”a 65-year-old woman in the Bronx just gave birth to twins.” And while the casting proves a little bit too predictable (Midler as a force of nature, Broderick playing another man-child, Firth once again Mr. Right), all the characters are given enough space to demonstrate that they have at least two and a half dimensions. Novelist Salman Rushdie’s cameo as a doctor is a weird distraction, but Hunt’s performance is terrific and far more nuanced than her Oscar-winning turn in As Good as It Gets. As an actress, she helps make her director look very good indeed. B