Tuesday, May 13, 2023

Then She Found Me

Then She Found Me finds Helen Hunt in the director’s seat and also in the lead. Film follows her relationship with a lady (Bette Midler) who arrives in the midst of a personal crisis and claims to be her biological mother. Hunt has some good comic moves and overall Then She Found Me takes delight in playing against the grain. This is not a film like 27 Dresses that observes romance in a fantasy but rather a romance that plays out against the reality of a woman trying to get her life in order.
Hunt gets the trifecta of unsettling news: her husband announces he's leaving (Matthew Broderick), her adoptive mother has recently passed away and she's pregnant. Getting hit on by fellow teacher Colin Firth only adds pragmatic strain to her life. And then a stranger and celebrity (played slightly over the top by a bubbly Bette Midler) informs her that she is her real mother.
The situations are set up perfectly to reflect the comic side of human frailty. That allows for a maternity scene (the doctor is a cameo by Salman Rushdie) with Hunt's estranged husband and new boyfriend competing for bedside space, as well as frank sex talk with her "new" mom. Hunt also uses visual gags that flesh out her vulnerability in silent comic takes.
Then She Found Me needs the love that indie films sometimes find with wider auds. It's good enough, but more to the point industry trades have reported that Then She Found Me distributor Think Films is floundering and couldn't find enough money for newspaper ads last weekend. Ouch. Think FIlms is also being threatened with legal action by Alex Gibney for money owed on Taxi to the Dark Side. So much for Oscars meaning money. Small outfits like Think are teetering on thin financial ice but so are studio giants like Warner Brothers. WB has deep sixed New Line, Picturehouse and Warner Independent Pictures in the last month. Their latest mainstream release Speed Racer has yet to find its true audience and so it's considered a failure despite being practically experimental visually.
American taste in film pretty much reflects its ability to elevate mediocrity to blazing heights, just look at the number one film, Iron Man.


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