Smart People

April 3rd marked the beginning of this year’s Philadelphia Film Festival and the entire city is in a film frenzy. Many showtimes are selling out and random people walking down the street can be overheard discussing the cinematic merits of the indie film they just saw. Last night, I got to attend a free preview of Smart People (that, truthfully, is totally unrelated to the Film Fest, but I needed an intro, ya know?), a Miramax film starring Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page and Thomas Haden Church, which hit theaters nationwide today.

The fairly humorous films, set in Pittsburgh Pa. features Quaid as a cynical and grouchy professor at Carnegie Mellon University who, due to an act of karma, meets Parker’s character in the ER. Parker is an ER doctor and former student of Quaid’s, who had a major thing for him when she took his Victorian Literature class as a freshman. Page plays Quaid’s Young Republican, perfect SAT-scoring, soon to be attending Stanford daughter — rather different than her break out role as Juno. Church is cast as Quaid’s deadbeat, adopted brother who blows into town to ask Quaid for money and ends up moving in with his extended family and providing the lowbrow comic relief.

The storyline mostly follows the relationship that develops between Quaid’s and Parker’s characters, as well as the personal development of the crotchety professor. The entire film seemed to be a social commentary on liberals versus conservatives with stereotypes of each prevailing. The duration of the film sees each character attempting to change his or her own downfalls interspersed with some genuinely funny moments.

While I didn’t leave the theater feeling like I wanted my previous two hours back, I was happy to not have had to pay for the movie. I’d wait for it to come around on DVD, were I you. If you live in Philadelphia, check out something actually playing at the Film Festival this weekend. If you’re elsewhere, go to your local independent theatre and support them. You’ll probably find something better, and you’ll feel better for supporting the little guy.

Smart People: website

[where: 400 Ranstead St, Philadelphia, PA 19106]


2 Responses

  1. It would’ve made way more sense for me to review this seeing as how it was filmed on my turf. HA!

  2. Well I’m the one who had preview passes. HA!
    Just kidding.

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