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Then She Found Me

Year: 2007
Production Co: Blank Watch Productions
Director: Helen Hunt
Producer: Helen Hunt
Writer: Helen Hunt/Alice Arlen/Victor Levin
Cast: Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick, Bette Midler, Colin Firth, Salman Rushdie

I hadn't seen Helen Hunt in anything for a very long time, and nothing of such outstanding quality since As Good As It Gets. It's hard to believe this emotionally nuanced, funny, sweet comedy drama so devoid of saccharine melodrama came from the same woman who played performance-free second fiddle to special effects in Twister.

Hunt directs herself as April, a New York teacher with a somewhat Woody Allene outlook for seeing the humour in the tragedy of life, but who's sent into a quiet tailspin when her immature husband (Broderick) leaves her, he adoptive mother dies suddenly, and her brash, TV star biological mother (Midler) seeks her out, asking to be part of her life.

At the same time, she can't help but notice the put-upon British father of two of her kids (Firth), a handsome but emotionally klutzy man who seems to revel in saying the wrong ting at the wrong time.

With such a limited release, I didn't hear much about the critical reception, but I understand a large part of it fixated on how unkind time's been to Hunt and how brave she was to shoot herself so objectively.

I noticed in passing that she looked like it had been a few years since we'd seen her, but the film had an understated emotional language rather than the shrill didacticism most films have, and while there were no huge surprises, it was done with honesty and heart.

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