Then She Found Me
An all-star cast with memorable performances by Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler and Colin Firth powers this smart, funny drama about love and destiny. Desperate to start a family, schoolteacher April Epner (Hunt) is thrown into confusion when she is unexpectedly abandoned by her husband (Broderick). She gets another shock when she meets her unusual birth mother (Midler), a self-centered talk show host who's not exactly the ideal mom. At first she rejects her, along with the attentions of a divorced dad (Firth), but then she begins to find her life opening up in ways she had never imagined.
- Director's Commentary with Helen Hunt
- Cast Interviews and Behind-the-Scenes
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April Epner, played by Helen Hunt teaches kindergarten, her husband played by Matthew Broderick is also a teacher. As we meet them they are having a Jewish religious holiday in the hospital with April's adopted mother. It is easily apparent that relations between April and her adopted mother are not all they should be. That night, April's husband tells her he loves someone else, and before he leaves they have hasty sex on the kitchen floor. April who is heartbroken faces the world in a haze, and on top of it all her adoptive mother dies. Life goes on, her friends and in particular her brother are her support. One day out of the blue a man comes to her school to ask her to meet with her birth mother, Beatrice, played by Bette Midler. Beatirce is an over the top local talk-show personality. On the same day that April meets her mother she also meets one of her student's father. They are both instantly hooked. They dance around having a date for awhile, but after a bit they decide their love is real. The relationship with real mom is up and down and April reaches a true conundrum.
This could be a very sappy film, but Helen Hunt's excellent direction saves it. Helen wears not much make-up, she looks pale and thin. Her new boyfriend, played by Colin Firth is rugged, a nice term for a little fat, solvely dad. He is all taken up in caring for his two young children, they were all left by his wife, their mother who is traveling through Europe with a new lover. Beatrice is as she should be, funny, really over the top as only Bette Midler can be, but filled with common sense and seems to instinctively knows how to behave. Matthew Broderick is a young mommy's boy and someone to avoid at all costs. The storyline may be trite to some, but I think it was well written and superbly acted. April's gynecologist is Salman Rushdie, for gosh sakes!
This is a film that all women will appreciate and men if they are really men. I found it charming and so well done.
Recommended. prisrob 01-28-12
A Good Woman
The King's Speech: Road to the Throner
Helen Hunt Plays April Epner; Bette Midler Plays Bernice Graves; Colin Firth Plays Frank; Matthew Broderick Plays Ben;
Ben Shenkman Plays Freddy; Lynn Cohen Plays Trudy Epner; John Benjamin Hickey Plays Alan; Salman Rushdie Plays Dr. Masani;
Daisy Tahan Plays Ruby; Tommy Nelson Plays Jimmy Ray; Stephanie Yankwitt Plays Stacey; Lillias D. White Plays Sheila;
David Callegati Plays Gianni; Rabbi Kenneth A. Stern Plays Rabbi; Robert LuPone Plays Ted; Chris Chalk Plays Orderly;
Alexa Scott-Flaherty Plays Mother #2; Marina Durell Plays Attendant; Sadie Heston Plays Trudy Jr.; Stephanie Berry Plays Principal Petticord;
Lauren Klein Plays Alice; Cherise Boothe Plays Mother #1; Doug Hughes Plays Bernice Fan; Chelsea Altman Plays Girl in Freddy's Bed;
Stacie Linardos Plays Anne; Jordan Thaler Plays Jordan; Michael Harder Plays Michael; Geneva Carr Plays Woman in Her 20s;
Maryann Urbano Plays Woman in Her 30s; Maggie Siff Plays Lily; Janeane Garofalo Plays Herself; Tim Robbins Plays Himself;
Edie Falco Plays Herself; Floanne Ankah Plays Production Assistant (uncredited); Adrianna Bremont Plays Trudy's Niece (uncredited);
Gustavo Cunha Plays Student (uncredited); Brother Eden Douglas Plays Penthouse Benefit Guest (uncredited)
Audrey Elizabeth Fafard Plays Penthouse Host (uncredited); Hristo Hristov Plays Camera Operator (uncredited);
Rachel Konstantin Plays April's Cousin (uncredited); Andy Miller Plays Limo Driver (uncredited);
Jonathan Roumie Plays Partygoer (uncredited); Schuster Vance Plays Husband at PTA Meeting (uncredited);
I like it. This is a film for adults, which is a such rarity these days. There is a lot of heart to the story and its characters. Lots of lovely subtleties in scenery, music, costuming, etc. The cast is superb, comedy is generally smartly written and well delivered. Formulaic aspects to some story lines, but it was thought-provoking overall, and well worth viewing.
I'm a fan of Helen Hunt as an actress and am proud to see such a strong directorial debut. I hope she continues. I really recommend checking out the Special Features section of the DVD, especially the interviews and featurette. Those interested in film making will enjoy Ms. Hunt's commentary, much of which focuses on the creative detail of telling the story, especially with little budget and limited time.
I think this film deserved more of a chance than it got. It's not a "chick flick," fluffy romance or Lifetime movie. It's an adult comedy-drama with a thought-provoking theme and wonderful performances. Not a perfect film, by any means, but better in its genre than I've seen in awhile.