Dennis Quaid is one my favorite underrated actors in Hollywood; much like Kurt Russel he's been in a ton of great flicks and put out some great performances that go unsung for one reason or another. They are everyman actors who can play a beer guzzling moron or a tough guy out to save the world, and they can do either while tickling your funny bone.|
Smart People is another great role for Dennis where he plays a person so self righteous and yet so utterly socially awkward even his pot head adopted screw up brother (Thomas Haden Church) can sit back and dude what the fuck is wrong with you? Its a damn good role and Im glad it falls to a guy like Dennis otherwise it would just come off as Oscar bait bullshit and nowhere near the honest performance he puts out there.
Of course most people are more closely eyeing Ellen Page in this one to see if she can maintain her Juno street cred. While both characters are pretty far flung from one another the patter of her always running mouth is quite similar. Imagine ff Alex P Keaton (Family Ties) were to have a daughter if so shed be Vanessa with her sharp wit and ultra up tight views on life (scary. no?). Ellen continues to improve her skills in this one and makes you wonder what a Kitty Pride (X-men) movie would be like .ok maybe Im the only one wondering that last part.
If I had any gripes at all it would be with Sarah Jessica Parkers part in this. No offence to her but its hard to imagine her as a doctor, dont get me wrong its not like Denise Richards trying to play a nuclear physicist or anything SJP can play a smart chick but I think Ive seen her in too many fun gal roles to give into her in this roll.
Of the many dysfunctional family movies that come out each year most of them fall flat while they push too hard to be quirky and strange. Where they fail Smart People excels in keeping things grounded in some uncomfortable basic reality.
You dont have to be a Smart Person to enjoy this movie .but it helps.
Rating: 4 out of 5