Der viktorianische Literaturprofessor Lawrence Wetherhold, welcher am ehesten mit den Worten befehlshaberisch, reizbar, verbittert, taktlos und egozentrisch beschrieben werden kann, ist ein intellektueller Tyrann mittleren Alters, welcher sich von seinem Sohn James völlig entfremdet und seine Tochter Vanessa zu einem unglücklichen und unfreundlichen Teenager gemacht hat. Als er sein Herz an die frühere Studentin Janet verliert, muss er all sein Können aufbieten um sie zu erobern.
Smart People is the darkly comic story of Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid), a widowed, acerbic, and self-absorbed literature professor who has alienated his son and turned his daughter into an overachieving, friendless teen. He falls for Janet (Sarah Jessica Parker), one of his former students; at the same time, his ne’er-do-well brother (played by Thomas Haden Church) unexpectedly shows up at his door, low on cash and needing a place to stay. Suddenly, Lawrence's well-thought-out, though not well-managed, life comes crashing down on him. All the intelligence in the world can’t unstick his life.
A seasoned commercial director, Noam Murro is no stranger behind a camera, but Smart People surely signals the beginning of an accomplished new career in feature filmmaking. The script by Mark Jude Poirier is razor sharp, and the obvious rapport among the ensemble cast members makes for a healthy dose of well-conceived humor. Mixing comedy genres, including just a hint of modern slapstick, Murro proves he has an assured grasp on what any good adult comedy needs—an expert balance of pace and pathos. Smart People traces the amusing series of events that trigger, in one man, the need to change and reconnect with his family before he can take the first step forward.
- Nachdem er sie in Hard Candy gesehen hatten, wusste Regisseur Noam Murro, dass Ellen die ideale Besetzung für die Rolle der Vanessa sein würde (Quelle: Famous Magazine - März 2008)
- Ellen und Noam Murro trafen sich zum ersten Mal in einem Burger King im Newark Airport (Quelle: Famous Magazine)
- “There’s so much passive-aggressive bitterness and child’s play in their interaction with each other. They have such a lapse in communication, and yet they all really want the same thing. She’s in the middle of this whole role reversal with her father, where she’s maintaining the household and doing the cooking, and all she does is clean and study and practice for her SAT’s. There’s no sense of normalcy or being a regular teenager in her life, which is what makes her such an arrogant and angry person. I got where she’s coming from completely. It’s kind of heartbreaking, but I also believe she’ll get through it.[...]Thomas is hilarious, extremely smart and has fantastic instincts and he was always trying new things.”
(Ellen Page über ihren Charakter Vanessa und die Arbeit mit Thomas Haden Church; Quelle: Produktionsnotizen)
- “To work with someone like Ellen, right off the bat, in a second, you know you’re working with someone who is bigger than anything.” (Reqiessur Noam Murro über die Arbeit mit Ellen Page; Quelle: www.thetartan.org)
- “She was fantastic. She did this movie before ‘Juno’ and she’s like Marlon Brando. She has the ability to do anything and make it compelling.” (Dennis Quaid über die Arbeit mit Ellen Page; Quelle: www.blackfilm.com)
- "I saw her small figure and frame walking towards me and I just knew in that instant that she was the genius I was looking for."
(Regisseur Noam Murro über das erste Treffen mit Ellen in einem Burger King im Newark Airport; Quelle: Famous Magazine)