A Little Help (Blu-Ray)
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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.
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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?
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. Even the sad scenes have some dark humor to them.
Jenna Fischer was great. The film boasts a great supporting cast as well as a quirky script with excellent direction. This is what indie production should be.
F-bomb, pathetic sex scene (by design), pot smoking. No nudity.