Then She Found Me

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/09/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 100 mins

Helen Hunt makes an impressive directorial debut and gives a defiantly vanity-free performance in this engaging drama that also features strong support from Colin Firth and Bette Midler.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Helen Hunt, Then She Found Me is based on the novel by Elinor Lipman and centres on the chaotic life of April Epner (Helen Hunt), a 39-year-old schoolteacher whose husband of a year (Matthew Broderick) announces that he wants a divorce, after the stresses of April trying and failing to get pregnant. On top of that, April's mother dies shortly afterwards, leaving her to think that things couldn't possibly get any worse.

However, Helen's life takes another unexpected turn when she's contacted by her birth mother, motor-mouthed talk show host Bernice Graves (Bette Midler), who announces that she wants to be involved in her daughter's life. And finally, just when she thinks she might finally have met Mr Right in single dad Frank (Colin Firth), she discovers that she's pregnant by Mr Wrong (Broderick).

The Good
Helen Hunt makes an assured directorial debut here, displaying the comic timing she honed on her long-running US sitcom Mad About You. She also gets strong performances from a great supporting cast that includes Colin Firth (reliable as always), Matthew Broderick (on fine sleazy form) and Bette Midler, who, predictably, gets all the best lines.

Hunt also gives a defiantly vanity-free performance in order to give a realistic portrayal of a frazzled 39-year-old woman – she even seems to have insisted on playing the part without make-up. In addition, her script is excellent, fleshing out the characters from the source novel and resisting the lure of the obvious Hollywood cliches – these are intriguingly flawed characters that we really care about.

The Bad
That said, the film does strike the occasional wrong note, particularly with Salman Rushdie's cameo as April's gynaecologist. That's just all kinds of wrong.

Worth seeing?
Then She Found Me is an emotionally engaging, superbly acted and impressively directed drama that marks Hunt out as a director to watch. Recommended.

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Then She Found Me
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Content updated: 21/11/2019 02:58

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