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Smart People | 2008 | R | - 6.2.5

A depressed and self-absorbed widower (Dennis Quaid) mopes through his days as a professor of literature, angry that none of his students care enough about the subject he loves. Matters are made worse when his adopted brother (Thomas Haden Church) shows up and asks for his help, again, and tries to corrupt his 17-year-old, strait-laced daughter (Ellen Page). But he is really thrown when an ex-student (Sarah Jessica Parker), who apparently had a crush on him, treats him in the emergency room after a fall. Also with Camille Mana, Christine Lahti, Ashton Holmes and David Denman. Directed by Noam Murro. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A young man and a young woman are shown in bed together (we see his bare chest and she is wearing a bra and panties and she's straddling him); we see her thrusting and they are kissing and caressing each other until someone at the door interrupts them.
 A man and a woman kiss passionately and it is implied that they have sex when we see them in bed together later (he is bare-chested and she is wearing a bra) and the man talks about using a condom.
 A 17-year-old girl kisses her older uncle (the adopted brother of her father), and he pulls away and tells her to stop. A 17-year-old girl makes a suggestive remark about how her uncle looks in his jeans.
 A man comes out of a shower wearing a towel around his waist (his bare chest and back and legs below the knee are visible). A man sleeps in the nude (his bare back, buttocks and legs are shown). A man sleeps wearing long underwear with an open flap in the back and his bare buttocks are revealed. A woman wears low-cut tops and dresses that reveal cleavage. A woman rolls a man over in a hospital bed and injects him in the buttock (he is covered by sheets).
 A young man and a young woman kiss in a nightclub. A man and a woman kiss a few times.
 A man lies on his stomach on a photocopier with his pants down, two women watch him and giggle, another man reprimands him and he steps down and zips up his pants (we hear the zipper, and no flesh is visible).
 A man tells his brother, "$50 opens the door to intercourse." A comment is made about a man's daughter being a lesbian.
 A woman is shown waiting for the results of a pregnancy test.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 2 - A man climbs a fence and falls to the ground hitting his head and knocking himself unconscious (we see him in the hospital later).
 A man confronts a young man working at an impound lot trying to convince him to let him have his car back.
 A woman yells at a man for being so self-absorbed. A brother and sister argue in several scenes. Several insulting remarks are made about people's intelligence.
 A man makes several remarks about his adopted brother in a negative context. A man questions his son about charges he made to a credit card.
 A woman rolls a man over in a hospital bed and injects him in the buttock (he moans in pain).
 A flyer reads, "Stem Cell Research Is The Wrong Choice."


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LANGUAGE 5 - 6 F-words, 5 sexual references, 7 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms, 5 mild obscenities, name-calling (litigious, narc, idiotic, misanthrope, scam artist, moron, retarded, stupid, arrogant, pompous windbag, monster), 3 religious exclamations.


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SUBSTANCE USE - A man and a 17-year-old girl smoke a marijuana cigarette. People are shown drinking alcohol in a nightclub and a 17-year-old girl is shown drunk, a man drinks alcohol from the bottle, a woman drinks wine with dinner, a man holds a half empty bottle of beer (we do not see him drink from it), and a man in a college dorm carries a bucket filled with empty beer cans to the garbage (he had apparently provided the beer to the dorm residents). A woman smokes a cigarette.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Disappointment, death of a spouse, fairness, depression, bitterness, self-absorption, widowers, love, rejection, stem cell research, pity, pregnancy out of wedlock, adoption, trust, relationships, family, happiness, homosexuality, subjugation of women.

MESSAGE - Happiness comes when we are open to other people and their imperfections.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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