Directed by Noam Murro
Starring Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page, Thomas Haden Church
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release date: August 12, 2008
I will preface this review with an admission of guilt that I am more than happy to announce as loud as it will take for anyone to hear it: I canâ€™t stand Ellen Page. In my humble opinion Juno was just alright and my distaste for the movie rests solely on the shoulders of its star. I found myself defending my position during the film’s release more than I felt necessary and the singular argument that came from the other camp was that if I like her in Hard Candy (I did) and hated her in Juno, then I must have disliked the character Juno more than the person acting as her. That wouldnâ€™t be a bad argument if it werenâ€™t completely wrong. On the timeline of this longstanding debate, Smart People may have dealt the death blow for the opposing side. But let me back up just a touch.
As a film critic, I would like to think I am subjective enough not to let a singular performance ruin an otherwise decent movie. It hasnâ€™t always held true (see: Juno), but I was bound and determined not to let it happen here. In other words, I went into it with an open mind. I am proud to say that I did not find Smart People to be a bad movie because of Ellen Page. No, this time it was a group effort.
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