Rated: R for language and some sexual content Reviewed by: Jim Release date: May 2, 2008 Released by: Think Film
Helen Hunt hasn't been in the Hollywood limelight much over the past decade. Since What Women Want she's been in more low-budget fare like A Good Woman opposite Scarlett Johansson. But, now she finds solace as director, co-writer, and star of the dramedy Then She Found Me.
Here, she is rather gaunt looking and willing to be photographed in an unglamorous light. Perhaps it reflects her schoolteacher character April Epner who is struggling as a motherless woman advancing to middleage.
Her marriage to a boyish colleague (Matthew Broderick, once Hunt's boyfriend) has fallen apart, and her adoptive mother's passing brings more despair to her life.
Bette Midler plays April's biological mother Bernice, who suddenly enters her life looking for a new best friend. Bernice has enjoyed success as a domineering television talk-show host.
Hunt works in a light touch as the wary April spends time with Bernice who claims she might be the love child of Steve McQueen, as well Colin Firth's Mr. Darcy-ish Frank, a just divorced dad of one of April's students.
There is another noticeable wrinkle for the relatively inward April whose biological clock chimes as life begins to look up.
Melodrama gradually wins out over the comedy as Hunt and her crew capture the emotions with some bittersweet insightfulness. She gets a rather surprising effort from a mostly subtle, understated Midler, as well as beneficial backup from John Benjamin Hickey as a control freak, Salman Rushdie as an obstetrician, and even the little-seen Janeane Garafolo.
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