Smart People - Movie Review
It's a rare thing to watch a movie that is simply so utterly forgettable, that you realize you are actually forgetting it while it's still on sreen. "In one ear and out the other" really doesn't describe Smart People. Unlike the Sex and the City movie (a film so long that I shudder just to think about it) this film has the benefit of brevity to at least quell any movement towards the eject button. Still, at 95 minutes, it's too long.
The main selling point here is the cast of mostly great actors. Dennis Quaid plays the central role of Lawrence, an English professor who prides himself on his smarts, vocabulary, and overall lack of personableness. His daughter, played by Ellen Page, appears to be a slightly older version of Juno, only with a vocabulary which has grown beyond the phrases "pork swords" and "home skillet." Thomas Haden Church is easily the most welcomed cast member, especially considering that his character Chuck is primarily the only source of entertainment. And of course, there's Sarah Jessica Parker, who somehow reprises her role as the central love interest, despite appearing to be the most unlikable grand-mother in history. I wouldn't mind her so much, if she only accepted the fact that she is aging and tried to expand on her choice of acting roles. Listen, Sarah, at this point it's just not attractive to see you play characters of older women trying to seduce other men. It's just sad. Really sad.
Smart People seems to envy the voice of Noah Baumbach, or Alexander Payne. In the process of assimilating these identities, Smart People ironically loses it's own. As a result, the film is a ponderous mess. It's unweildy script doesn't end as much as it spits and putters like a dying car, even attempting to give itself a jump start while the credits pass.
Earlier this week I was thinking about what I would consider to be the worst movie ever made. What I realized is that any film I decided on would innevitably not be the worst film for the sole reason that I could still remember it. If that were the case, then I could assume that the film somehow affected me.
No, I realized that the worst film ever will have to die in complete obscurity, alone in a sea of vague lookalikes.
There's nothing about Smart People I can recommend or dissuade against. It's not bad, not good, not even very adequate. It really might as well not even exist, which frankly, is the greatest insult I can think of.