Sunday, May 25, 2008

Then She Found Me

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Helen Hunt Makes Decent Directorial Debut with Bittersweet Romantic Comedy

Ten years after she won an Academy Award for As Good As It Gets, Helen Hunt has now decided to take a shot at directing. Her debut offering, Then She Found Me, is based on the best seller of the same name by Elinor Lipman. Hunt also wrote the screen adaptation and co-stars opposite Colin Firth and Bette Midler in this bittersweet romantic comedy exploring a litany of themes, including love, loss, rebirth and redemption.
The story is set in Brooklyn where we find newlywed April Epner (Hunt) hearing her biological clock ticking and eager to start a family. Unfortunately the 39 year-old schoolteacher’s immature husband and colleague Ben (Matthew Broderick) doesn’t share her feelings. In fact, he’s been having second thoughts about even having tied the knot, and is about to break the news that he’s decided to leave her after only 12 months of marriage.
The morning after being dumped, a Prince Charming fortuitously comes waltzing into her life in the person of Frank (Firth), the father of one of her students. He’s recently separated from his wife and can barely hide his attraction to April. But before their love has a chance to blossoms a few flies land in the ointment.
First, April’s adoptive mother (Lynn Cohen) dies. Second, she finds out she’s pregnant by her ex. Third, her birth mother (Bette Midler), a flamboyant talk show host, shows up out of nowhere, in need of quality time and wanting to bond. So, as April practically simultaneously sets about grieving, divorcing, getting acquainted with her long-lost mom, and preparing for the arrival of a baby, she also starts dating the man of her dreams.
No need to spoil any of the picture’s array of surprising developments, suffice to say that the plot is anything but predictable. As for grading Hunt’s overall effort, other than perhaps being a little long in the tooth to have Colin Firth’s character convincingly going gaga over her (“You’re gorgeous!”), she did a decent job of directing a chick flick which ought to be a hit with the distaff demographic.
Just remember to pack the hankies.

Very Good (3 stars)
Rated R for profanity and sexuality.
Running time: 100 minutes
Studio: THINKfilm Company

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