Kerrie Mitchell
August 08, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Smart People

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
95 minutes
Wide Release Date
04/11/08
performer
Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Quaid, Thomas Haden Church, Ellen Page
director
Noam Murro
distributor
Miramax
author
Mark Poirier
genre
Comedy, Romance

We gave it a B+

A schlubbed-up Quaid plays a pompous professor juggling his uptight daughter (Ellen Page), his mooching brother (Thomas Haden Church), and a new romance with an ex-student (Parker) in this wonderfully lived-in drama. Smart People‘s narrative stumbles at times (the prof’s son is introduced, then mostly ignored). But the performances are so winning that the dysfunctional clan — in a making-of, writer Mark Jude Poirier calls them ”highly educated people” who are ”emotional idiots” — becomes a pleasure to watch. B+

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