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A Little Help [Blu-ray]

3.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Jenna Fischer (TV's The Office) gives "a game-changing performance" (The New York Post) in this irresistible and offbeat award-winning comedy set in 2002. Laura, a Long Island dental hygienist, sneaks cigarettes and pounds back beers to cope with her unfaithful husband (Chris O'Donnell, Scent of a Woman), overbearing family, and a brother-in-law (Rob Benedict, Supernatural), who’s loved her since high school. Her life really spins out of control when her husband suddenly dies and her 12-year-old son (Daniel Yelsky) tells an outrageous lie at school to impress his new classmates. Laura’s going to need a little help to settle into a normal life…or a lot more beer! Academy Award-nominee Lesley Ann Warren (Victor/Victoria), Ron Leibman (Norma Rae) and Brooke Smith (Silence of the Lambs) costar in this " highly entertaining and richly human movie experience" (Box Office) from the creator of King of Queens.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jenna Fischer, Chris O'Donnell, Rob Benedict, Jim Florentine, Kim Coates
  • Directors: Michael J. Weithorn
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005EIHMUE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,642 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Little Help [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert G. Splaine Jr. on July 23, 2011
A young woman is having multiple issues in her life. Her husband may be cheating on her, she is not close to her son, and she has a jealous sister. After the husband dies of a heart attack, monetary issues become a concern. This is a very well done drama, with characters that were engaging and who bring real-life drama to a film that is attention-grabbing throughout. There are no dull moments, as this movie brings different challenging scenarios for the protagonist. The film is carried very well by an outstanding Jenna Fischer. Don't miss this gem.
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"What's a cooler way to die, 9/11 or a arrhythmia thing?" Laura (Fischer) and Bob (O'Donnell) have a strained marriage. Bob works all the time and Laura drinks a lot. Their 12 year old son is stuck in the middle but prefers the dad. After an argument leads to Bob's death, Laura is left to figure out how to raise her son and support her family. This is a movie that is very different from the preview. The preview makes it look like a comedy, while there are some funny parts this is more of a drama. That said this is one fantastic movie. Watching each character deal with the situation is great to watch. There are parts that you laugh at that you feel like you shouldn't. This is also one of the best mother-son bonding movies I have ever seen, and there are scenes with her family that will make you mad. The fact that you have these feeling marks the sign of a good movie. This is one of the biggest surprise movies of the year. You expect one thing, it's another, but an absolutely fantastic movie to watch. Overall, an extremely entertaining and enjoyable movie to watch that won't disappoint. I give it an A.
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Other reviews have already covered much more ground than I intend. For those of you, like me, who had an interest in this film based on the preview, this review is for you. I was led to A Little Help by two things: Jenna Fischer and the trailer. Fischer delivered what I expected of her and was a pleasure to watch, but the film didn't come close to delivering on the promise of the trailer. I anticipated a pick-me-up--something heartwarming, if not entirely lighthearted. What I got was a string of agonizing relationships and choices, discordant families, and people full of regret, their flaws on display for the world (and not in a celebratory way). This is a movie about crisis, and while I found it engaging and worth watching, it was also emotionally exhausting.
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Laura's life is already pretty depressing as she deals with a cheating husband and crazy family. But then her husband dies suddenly and she is left trying to take care of her son alone while dealing with depression and a dip into alcoholism. She is such a bad mother at times you just want to shake her and say what are you doing? The son is one who really needs help in this film. Of course things turn around, but the movie itself is pretty predictable. Jenna Fischer's performance saves this movie from being a one or two star rating - she does a good job with the material given to her. Overall, this movie is the thing that needs a little help.
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I was hooked by the opening scene of Laura (Jenna Fischer) playing a dental hygienist. She is pretending everything is fine while she complains to her patient that her husband has one lone fault: he uses waxed floss. Clearly her life is not together as she is late picking up her porky 12 year old son Dennis (Daniel Yelsky) from camp while extinguishing the Marlboro Light she gave up a year ago. He clearly prefers dad (Chris O'Donnell) who frequently must work late, to being with his mom.

Jenna drowns her life, which really isn't that bad, into a Budweiser product placement (later replaced by Absolut Vodka) and lies to her mother (Lesley Ann Warren who has aged gracefully) about her life. While sad, it is done in a manner that we must laugh. When Chris dies from an "anxiety" attack brought on by Laura's sudden sexual demand, Laura goes to work the morning of the day of the funeral because it isn't until three o'clock. When Laura is at home, there are times when a dog is barking in the background. It is cleverly symbolic of her tension level.

The movie has some quick dry dark comedy wit:

At the funeral Paul is talking to a woman while opening a bottle of wine:
Paul: This is my second funeral this year, my dad died earlier.
Woman: Oh I'm so sorry.
Paul: Don't be. It was for the best.
Woman: Was he sick?
Paul.: No

Dennis goes to a new school and has the "opportunity to make new friends" as the new fat kid in school. Things don't work out too well until he tells the kids his dad died "in 9-11."

Meanwhile Laura is sent to a lawyer who specializes in medical malpractice lawsuits. Just when you think the movie is going to turn sad and dramatic,like so many indies going down the road of ruin, it doesn't.
Read more ›
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A Little Help starring Jenna Fischer is a strange but interesting little film. Fischer's performance is what saves this film, she is so believable as Laura, a woman who's husband has died and her son makes up a lie about how his father died to his classmates to impress them. Laura is rough-around-the-edges, she's high-strung, she's neurotic, and can't make sense out of her chaotic life. This film isn't for everyone, no fairytale ending but I did enjoy this film. Who knew Jenna Fischer was such an amazing actress!?
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