Friday, April 25, 2008
Smart people, intellectual people, but not really happy people. That is exactly how to describe this film and its characters. We have the grumpy Professor (Dennis Quaid), the over achieveing daughter (Ellen Page), the poet son (Ashton Holmes), the adopted brother (Thomas Haden Church) and the Doctor (Sarah Jessica Parker). They each have their issues, and their complicated relationships with each other. Its actually all quite interesting, even if the characters don't all come off as very likable at first. Professor Lawrence is just a grump, and you wonder what Janet actually sees in him, although as things progress it doesn't seem so bad. The problem I found was her character was underwritten, and his character could have been a little better, but the performances by Dennis Quaid and Sarah Jessica Parker made up for it, they were both quite good. The character was quite well suited for Quaid, something a little different for him. The real stand out for me was Thomas Haden Chruch as the loser adopted brother, a role suited for him and really put on a great performance. Ellen Page was also really good, bringing out more then was written for her character. Again it was very well suited for her, and a lesser actress would not have done as well. Ashton Holmes did what he could with his character, there was not much there but he pulled it off. It could have been slightly better, a few little improvements in the script, but a great cast more then made up for that. I enjoyed it overall, and I'd recommend it for people who enjoy their comedy dramas, and of course if you like any of the cast.