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An Invisible Sign [Blu-ray] (2010)

Jessica Alba , Chris Messina , Marilyn Agrelo  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jessica Alba, Chris Messina
  • Directors: Marilyn Agrelo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00561BNFO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,530 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Jessica Alba delivers a most unexpected performance as Mona Gray, a quirky young woman who hides in a private world of numbers when her beloved mathematician father falls ill. But when Mona is offered a job as an elementary school math teacher, she ll introduce the students to her own eccentric gift for numerical obsession. Can the joys of arithmetic multiplied by a shy romance with the school science teacher (Chris Messina of Julie & Julia) help Mona discover a new life she can count on?  J.K. Simmons (Juno), Sonia Braga (Sex and the City), Bailee Madison (Wizards of Waverly Place) and John Shea (Gossip Girl) co-star in this offbeat and heartwarming comedy/drama about second chances, emotional equations and calculating the power of love.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars charming romance between eccentric loners September 24, 2011
This is romantic comedy for all ages. An off-beat 'coming of age' story about a young mathematically-gifted girl who uses numbers to hide from grown-up realities. Her beloved, mathematician, dad's break-down and increasing detachment from reality causes her to irrationally forsake all pleasures except math. When she is pushed (by Mom) into the adult role of math teacher at an elementary school, she realizes that she must become the grown-up authority for her students. Gradually, she recognizes that her infantile, self-destructive impulses can be controlled. She is urgently needed by Lisa, her young student who is soon to be orphaned. Mona's grown-up epiphany is "There comes a moment when you look around waiting for the person in charge to help you. Then you realize you're the only adult in the room. You ARE the person in charge, and you're not very good at it." But Mona accepts her teacher's role & most of the the kids trust her. Mona recognizes that she cannot 'keep her father company' as he becomes increasingly obsessive & delusional. In her own words, she 'no longer needs a bathroom monitor' and takes the risk of an intimate relationship again, this time with Ben Smith as an adult, not an adoring daughter.

The charm of this story is that all the main characters, both adults & children, have odd little habits but are likeable folks. Each is coping with personal or family tragedies -- yet there is very little violence, instead, several become neurotic, eccentric loners as a result. Jessica Alba , Chris Messina, & J K Simmons do solid jobs in creating the off-beat personalities in the film. If you like eccentric but kind-hearted schoolteachers, you're probably enjoy 'An Invisible Sign'.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars great indie film RUINED by fake, sappy Hollywood ending February 14, 2013
This was an ALMOST perfect indie film -- an original tale about quirky, marginalized characters. But it's ruined when, during the film's last five minutes, an artificially sappy, happy Hollywood ending is tacked on.

Mona (Jessica Alba) is an emotionally troubled young woman. Her father appears to be schizophrenic. It's likely that Mona has inherited his mental disease (whatever that is) and will worsen with time.

Mona gets a job teaching math, though her mother lied about Mona having a college degree. Then a science teacher courts Mona, but she can't connect with him (or anyone). After he kisses her, she runs away and eats soap. She drives him away. Mona also brings an ax into class, because it's shaped like the number 7.


Near the film's end, there's a classroom fight. Two of Mona's (also emotionally troubled) girl students fight over the ax (while the boys fight over a prosthetic limb). One of the girls just lost her mother to cancer. The other girl's parents are going through a messy divorce. In the aftermath, one girl's forehead is bloodied against a glass pane. The other girl (carrying the ax) slips on urine, with the ax embedding itself into Mona's leg.

Mona is fired by the school.

Up until now, the film was filled with moments of poignancy and honest emotion -- but then in the FINAL 5 MINUTES -- after Mona's firing -- everything turns around for her with sudden ease.

* Mona is suddenly able to love the science teacher.

* Mona adopts the student who lost her mother to cancer.

* Mona's attorney threatens to sue the school, resulting in Mona getting her teaching job back.

This fake, SAPPY Hollywood ending ruins an otherwise courageous indie film.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars strangely appealing December 23, 2011
An Invisible Sign isn't *anything* like what I was expecting. It's honestly only *partially* a love story, though the brief moments where Jessica Alba's character gets romantic with her boyfriend are definitely the least appealing aspects of the film, hence the reason I took exactly 1 point off the ratings scale.

Anyway the storyline is about Jessica Alba getting the opportunity to be a teacher (thanks to her rude and uncaring mother) to a bunch of kids who have a serious problem sitting still and behaving. Yeah, like ALL kids! What's interesting is that she already *knew* she wasn't cut out for the job which is why she initially didn't want to accept it, so it doesn't exactly come as a shock when she discovers the kids are hard to tolerate and keep under control.

Well, that's how the storyline *starts*. From there it just turns into a weird mess. Let's see. She's obsessed with numbers, and the movie writers tried to wrap a storyline around her fascination with numbers (including her neighbor who's an old man that taught her this particular obsession) but... there's more to it than that. At least I think so. The entire numbers concept seemed boring to me and unnecessary anyway.

She develops a special friendship with one of her students because the little girls mom is dying of... eye cancer. Yeah, seriously. Of course you can probably guess what's going to happen at the end of the movie because the build-up is nothing particularly *different* concerning the tired and old "parent dies, what happens to child?" storylines. You've seen this same set up a thousand times in other movies, and it isn't executed any differently here. Still, just in case it's not obvious enough, I won't come right out and SAY what happens.
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