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A Sitcom Version of Suburban Angst in A Little Help

"Suburban malaise" they call it, and it's the reason why Long Island dental hygienist Laura (Jenna Fischer) self-soothes with afternoon Budweisers, jealously stews over her disparaging, workaholic husband (Chris O'Donnell), and lets her 12-year-old son (Daniel Yelsky)—a chubby ball of hormonal rage—walk all over her. An underdog family dramedy in the vein of You Can Count on Me or Alexander Payne's oeuvre, the directorial feature debut from The King of Queens co-creator Michael J. Weithorn has the pleasant production values, fine acting, terse one-liners, and fruitlessly overstated dramatics one might expect from a veteran writer and producer of sitcoms. Laura's hardest knocks come knocking after her hubby dies of arrhythmia during a blowjob, leaving her to be picked apart by her meddling mom (Lesley Ann Warren) and hypercritical sister (Brooke Smith), both of whom demand she sue for medical malpractice. And the little shit Laura spawned has begun telling classmates that his dad was a first-responder who died in 9/11—an event that occurred a few months before the film's setting—making her an inexcusable accomplice in the lie. The film's title needs a question mark, as our drowning heroine must grab her own bootstraps, but for all its sincerity, the film is as average and forgettable as most CBS comedies.

 
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8 comments
Dmangers
Dmangers

Your comment about The Help shows what a dumb a___ you really are! That movie should and will win an oscar. Go wash your brain out. Are you from the south, you idiot!

Olga
Olga

It always bothers me when a movie that isn't a huge blockbuster type of thing gets shot down. I saw the movie at the Long Island International Film Expo and fell in love with it! Jenna Fischer's character as a real person going through human struggles came across very clearly and connected with me on many levels. As a published author, I find these kinds of movies most inspirational over the big fantasy surrealism that is out there today. The authors of this blog or post seem way too quick to judge it and do not see the symbolism of a woman struggling to over come expectations in society. I guess for some, if you haven't experienced it, you have no clue what you are talking about. It is critical when making reviews of a movie to not just look at the big picture but also to try putting yourself in the characters shoes. I would totally recomment this movie to people of all ages. A+

Sushmita86
Sushmita86

Maybe it's just a movie that has more appeal to girls? The trailer was so funny and Jenna is amazing.

Bar Sports
Bar Sports

For all the excitement you talk about when describing the movie, it doesn't seem 1. average 2. forgettable or 3. like you don't like it. I think someone told you not to like it and you went along with that idea.

A Little Help was definitely a movie I'm glad I saw -it was a well-done, entertaining comedy. The story itself was relatable (oh the let downs in life) and an uplifting reminder that life isn't easy but that's what makes it so great.

"And the little shit Laura spawned" - I totally felt that way about the boy, it got me so worked up that he was such a twerp!

I'd like to see it do a lot better than what you think!

aaron
aaron

I saw the film in Indianapolis. I love indie flicks, especially this one! I was definitely entertaining throughout the movie, and never a dull moment. It's actually one of those films where I may go and see it again. Def recommend for anyone reading this!

Nyk1973
Nyk1973

I don't know what movie you were watching, Mr. Hills. This film was at the San Diego FF last year (where I think it won Best Feature or something) and I thought it was GREAT. Sensitive, heartfelt, intelligent -- not like a sitcom at all. I wish more movies were like this one. I could understand if this movie isn't your thing, but to dismiss it like you did... man, I just don't get it. I can't wait to see it again when it comes out this weekend.

Courtney T.
Courtney T.

I also had the chance to see it in Indianapolis and our entire group of friends loved it!!! We are so excited it is finally coming out for everyone to see.

 

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