Might be the worst movie title ever. Sure, it’s not as offensive as Phat Girlz or as absurd as To Wong Foo.. or as incredibly awful and inane as I Know Who Killed Me, yet it manages to provoke me much more than any Norbit or Getting Served could. It’s what the deceptively simple title implies.
looking bored while pontificating on something asinine…that’s what Smart People do best.
Yes, it alludes to the fact that people of higher intelligence might populate this film, but lazily titling your movie this, as if making a movie about non-stupid folks is good enough reason for one to see it, is plain dumb. Also, it just reeks of wannabe indie funded by clueless, massive studio. See, it’s a movie about smart people that think they are really erudite and in control of their lives, but guess what? They’re just like us. They’re dysfunctional, incompetent, obnoxious, and lost little imbeciles. Isn’t that precious (and ironic)?
Once seeing the trailer, it becomes even more apparent that the film wishes it were Noah Baumbach’s next vision but without the humor or insight.
Dennis Quaid is a pompous English professor (yawn) with two self-possessed snooty bags for children including daughter Vanessa (Ellen Page aka go-to marketable indie wunderkind). He suffers a concussion and wakes up to fall in love with Sarah Jessica Parker. What he doesn’t realize is that Parker was once his student and still bears a grudge for a failing mark that he gave her. You would think this is already a rich and engrossing plot, but what is a movie without Thomas Haden Church? The loveable Sideways schmuck shows up as Quaid’s adopted brother and really gets those latent feelings of resentment and self-doubt circulating through the family’s veins.
What other title would I expect for a movie with this sort of trite synopsis tailored for those who enjoy watching generic, self-centered academics navel gaze and smirk with words for ninety minutes?
The only redeeming thing I can see about the film is that the musical score was composed by Extreme heartthrob Nuno Bettencourt! At one point last summer, I recalled Mr. Bettencourt with fondness and tried to find out what sort of creative endeavors he was pursuing now. Now, I know and I can’t say it puts my mind at ease. Part of me wishes he still performed “Hole-Hearted” on the dive bar circuit but without that dude who thought he was Sammy Hagar.
Smart People might actually turn out to be a decent film, but I can’t endorse its flagrant marketing tactics to acquire an audience of those who loved Juno. That’s almost worse than actually penning Juno. Almost.