Holy Helen Hunt. The As Good As It Gets star directed, produced, starred in and wrote the screenplay for this film, and I have to say, she fully succeeded on all fronts.
Elementary school teacher April Epner (Hunt) is trying to deal with the disappointment of unsuccessfully trying for a baby for nearly a year. As if this stress isn't enough, her husband (Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller's Day Off) leaves her, and her adopted mother (Lynn Cohen, Munich) dies. To further complicate matters, her birth mother (Bette Middler, Beaches) arrives to strike up a relationship, and April may be falling for a student's newly divorced father (Colin Firth, Bridget Jones's Diary).
With a cast that boasts the likes of Hunt, Broderick and Firth, you really can't go wrong. Normally, I can't stand Middler, but she is perfectly cast as a flamboyant talk show host whose tough exterior slowly cracks.
Most of the actors said this is something of a comedy, but really, it's a serious drama with wonderful little bits of romance and humor thrown in. Additionally, Hunt and Firth have fantastic chemistry.
This entire film was a full-blown labor of love for Helen Hunt. According to the DVD special features, the project took nearly a decade to materialize, and all the stars gave her props for the hard work.
All in all, this is a wonderfully subtle look at family and rebounding from the hardships and betrayals life throws at all of us. And I absolutely loved it.
This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.