Then She Found Me

Hmmm.... Where to start....

Maybe I should begin by admitting that I have never been a fan of Helen Hunt ("Pay it Forward" and "What Women Want") despite her Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress ("As Good As It Gets"). In this particular film, she not only co-wrote the script, she produced, directed, AND starred in it, so that is rather more Helen Hunt than I can tolerate. In addition, she is too old to be as reed-thin as ordained by the current Hollywood fashion these days; she just looks stringy.

On the other hand, I have always liked Colin Firth, from his early, early days ("Apartment Zero"), to his career-making turn as Mr. Darcy in Masterpiece Theatre's "Pride and Prejudice," and his later frolics in "Love, Actually" and "Bridget Jones's Diary." This summer we can look forward to seeing him as one of Meryl Streep's three former lovers as she and her daughter try to figure out which one was THE One in "Mamma Mia!"

This dichotomy was what prompted me to see "Then She Found Me" in the first place. As expected, I found Hunt to be mannered and stilted with her patented look of inner pain in abundant supply. There are many reasons for it: Her character wants a baby and she is 39 years old. Her adopted mother dies. Matthew Broderick ("The Producers" and "Election"), her husband of eight months, leaves her because he "thinks he made a mistake." Her birth mother, played by Bette Midler ("Beaches" and "The Rose") shows up. A single father, the aforementioned Firth, has children in the school where she is employed and seems attracted to her.
A couple of things I found interesting:
  • This movie contains a lot of Jewish ceremonies, songs, traditions and rituals.
  • Well-known author Salman Rushdie ("Bridget Jones' Diary") plays a medical man (is he trying to start a second career?).

Broderick's character is such a schlemiel it was hard for me to see why our heroine suffered a couple of relapses over the course of the two hours running time, but Hunt's direction is very straightforward and honest. She does NOT try to glamorize her own character and a few of the scenes are refreshingly long, with very little editing or cutting. This makes me feel that the participants are professionals who don't need their work cobbled together in the editing room. Midler's character has a very slippery relationship with "Truth" and that makes me uneasy, but her story is an old one...

Did I like it? Well, as I said at the beginning: I have always liked Colin Firth...