Monday, April 21, 2008

Smart People

Editorial Note: Since I'll be on the road for the next few months, most of my blogging will happen over on Travels With Our Cats. You can subscribe to both blogs using my combined feed from Yahoo! Pipes. (Not responsible for any damage to the space-time continuum caused if you add this feed to Google Reader.)

It's been a long time since D and I had an actual weekend to relax and have some fun. The last month has been consumed, first by the Midnight Madness Game, then by packing and moving out of our house in Mountain View, and finally with preparations for our big summer-long road trip. We didn't actually get a chance to slow down and breathe until after we'd driven all the way down to San Diego, the first stop on our sightseeing trip.

So, on Friday night, we went out to the movies. D gave me four to choose from: The Forbidden Kingdom, Leatherheads, Smart People, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. About that last one--I should point out that she normally doesn't go for comedies, especially ones featuring broad physical comedy, but we love "How I Met Your Mother." And it sucks that the hotel's broadband connection won't support streaming video from But that's another post.

I probably would have picked Forbidden Kingdom for some lighthearted fun, but by the time we finished dinner, it was too late for that or Leatherheads. So I went with Smart People. It's not a perfect movie, but it turned out to be a great choice for us at that time. Dennis Quaid gives a wonderfully subdued performance--totally against type for him--and Thomas Haden Church steals the show with some absolutely essential nudity and profanity.

Going in, D was afraid it might be "one of those movies," meaning an overwritten indie talk-o-rama that doesn't know when to shut up. It wasn't; in fact, there's an economy of dialogue that balances the significant, wordless moments. I wouldn't recommend Smart People for everyone, but it's a nice, quiet, human story with some good laughs. Look for it on DVD.


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