C- A Little Help, Camera 12, Thursday, March 3, 9:15; Wednesday, March 9, 12:00 noon; California Theatre, Saturday, March 9, 9:15. This film really helped me appreciate Mike Leigh. It did so by reminding me that not everyone can make a good low-key drama about ordinary, damaged human beings. A Little Help’s protagonist (Jenna Fischer) starts the movie with a miserable life. She drinks too much, smokes too much, her socially-awkward son hates her, her husband ignores her, and her sister and mother push her around. When her husband suddenly dies, things don’t get worse…or better. The cast all give fine performances, which is a considerable triumph considering writer/director Michael J. Weithorn’s lukewarm screenplay. Just about everything that happens is painfully obvious and just as painfully pointless, with too many underwritten, unbelievable characters spouting uninteresting dialog.
This post was corrected after it was created. One of the dates was wrong.