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Then She Found Me

Then She Found Me
Original poster
Directed by Helen Hunt
Produced by Helen Hunt
Pamela Koffler
Katie Roumel
Connie Tavel
Christine Vachon
Written by Alice Arlen
Victor Levin
Helen Hunt
Based on Then She Found Me 
by Elinor Lipman
Starring Helen Hunt
Bette Midler
Colin Firth
Matthew Broderick
Music by David Mansfield
Cinematography Peter Donahue
Edited by Pam Wise
Production
company
Distributed by ThinkFilm (US)
Chelsea Films (UK)
Release dates
  • September 7, 2007 (2007-09-07) (TIFF)
  • April 25, 2008 (2008-04-25) (US)
  • May 15, 2008 (2008-05-15) (AUS)
  • September 19, 2008 (2008-09-19) (UK)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $8,142,237

Then She Found Me is a 2007 American comedy-drama film directed by Helen Hunt. The screenplay by Hunt, Alice Arlen, and Victor Levin is very loosely based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Elinor Lipman. The film marked Hunt's feature film directorial debut.

Contents

  • Plot 1
  • Production 2
  • Cast 3
  • Critical reception 4
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • Home media 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Plot

Deeply religious April Epner, a 39-year-old Brooklyn elementary school teacher, finds her life derailed by a series of events over which she has no control. Her husband Ben abruptly leaves her, her abrasive adoptive mother Trudy passes away the following day, and shortly after she is contacted by Alan, a representative of Bernice Graves, the flamboyant host of a local talk show, who introduces herself as her biological mother.

Although intrigued by Bernice's claim that she was fathered by

Production

In a bonus feature included with the DVD release of the film, Helen Hunt discusses her ten-year-long journey to get Elinor Lipman's novel to the screen. After first reading it she tried to interest numerous studios in the material, and her unsuccessful efforts led her to begin writing the screenplay and raising funds to produce it herself. Longtime friend Matthew Broderick agreed to play the relatively small role of Ben for scale, and his commitment inspired Hunt to approach Bette Midler and Colin Firth, who were impressed by her passion for the project and agreed to work for minimum pay as well. Although she originally did not intend to portray April, Hunt decided that casting herself in the role ultimately would lighten her work load as a director since she would have one less performance to help mould.

Janeane Garofalo and Tim Robbins make brief cameo appearances as themselves. The author Salman Rushdie portrays Dr. Masani.

The film was shot on location in Brooklyn, including the waterfront community of Gerritsen Beach, and Manhattan. Interiors were filmed at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The film's soundtrack includes "For You" by Duncan Sheik, "In The Red" by Tina Dickow, "I'll Say I'm Sorry Now" by Shawn Colvin, "Naked As We Came" by Iron & Wine, and "Cool, Clear Water" by Bonnie Raitt.

The film premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival, and was then shown at numerous 2008 film festivals, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Portland International Film Festival, the Boulder International Film Festival, the Cleveland International Film Festival, South by Southwest, and the Ashland Independent Film Festival. On April 25, 2008 it opened in nine theaters in New York City and Los Angeles, followed by a limited US release in 63 other theaters around the US on May 2, 2008.[1][2] It earned $72,594 on nine screens on its opening weekend and eventually grossed $3,735,717 in the US and $4,697,331 in foreign markets, for a total worldwide box office of $8,433,048.[2]

Cast

Critical reception

Critical response to the film was mixed, and it received a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Whereas some critics praised the film for having strong performances, others felt the film was bogged down by a weak script and technical issues. Fans of the book took issue with the substantial differences between the book and the movie.

Ruthe Stein of the As Good as It Gets won her an Oscar. She's eons better and more realistic in this one . . . By directing Then She Found Me, Helen becomes its savior as well . . . Hunt knows when to rein in the Divine Miss M instead of allowing her to go into full Kabuki mode . . .[She] also coaxes pitch-perfect performances from Broderick and Firth."[3]

John Anderson of the Washington Post disagreed, saying "Hunt directs a lot of this like a TV movie, and the music by the estimable David Mansfield is used to frog-march the film's emotional content, rather than letting it simply enhance the proceedings . . . Then She Found Me suffers from, if anything, a lack of pure confidence in the story, the actors or the audience."[4]

Awards and nominations

Helen Hunt was presented with the Audience Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Rogue Award at the Ashland Independent Film Festival.

Home media

The DVD was released in anamorphic widescreen format on September 2, 2008. The English audio track is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, and there are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired and Spanish. Bonus features include director's commentary with Helen Hunt, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, cast interviews, and the original trailer.

References

  1. ^ Then She Found MeIMDb: Release dates for Retrieved 2013-02-27
  2. ^ a b Then She Found MeBox Office Mojo: Retrieved 2013-02-27
  3. ^ Then She Found MeSan Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2008: Retrieved 2013-02-27
  4. ^ Then She Found MeThe Washington Post, May 9, 2008: Retrieved 2013-02-27

External links

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