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Movie Review

Then She Found Me

MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content

Reviewed by: Misty Wagner
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance, Comedy, Drama, Adaptation
Length:
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
April 25, 2008 (exclusive)
May 2, 2008 (limited)
DVD release: September 2, 2008
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, THINKFilm

Adoption in the Bible

Marriage

Marriage in the Bible

Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Many people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?

Divorce

Divorce in the Bible

Divorce and Remarriage—Under what conditions may Christians divorce and remarry? Answer

True love

Couple in love. Photo copyrighted
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.
Religion

Answers about religion

Featuring: Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick, Lynn Cohen, Ben Shenkman, Florence Annequin, Cherise Boothe, David Callegati, Geneva Carr, Chris Chalk, Brother Douglas, Audrey Elizabeth Fafard, John Benjamin Hickey, Rachel Konstantin, Stacie Linardos, Andy Miller, Tommy Nelson, Jonathan Roumie, Salman Rushdie, Maggie Siff, Rabbi Kenneth Stern, Daisy Tahan, Schuster Vance
Director: Helen Hunt
Producer: Moon Blauner, Jeff Geoffray, Louise Goodsill, Helen Hunt, Walter Josten, Ralph Kamp, Pamela Koffler, Matthew Myers, Katie Roumel, Chip Signore, Connie Tavel, Christine Vachon, John Wells
Distributor: THINKFilm

“A thoroughly modern women in a thoroughly modern crisis.”

Adapted from Elinor Lipman's novel of the same name, Helen Hunt made her feature directing debut with “Then She Found Me.”

Some films are made to bring in money, while some films are created simply because someone has a story that they believe needs to be told. “Then She Found Me” would fall into the latter movie type. In an interview recently, Helen Hunt spoke about devoting roughly sixteen years to this project. Between the screenplay and finding a studio to create in the film, it was a tumultuous journey with a beautifully-moving result.

April Epner (Helen Hunt) is a 39 year old year old Jewish woman, fearing she’s missed her chance to bear a child. Having been adopted as an infant, she finds herself desperate for that biological connection. Emphatically against adoption being an option for her, April and her husband of 10 months, find themselves deep within attempting to conceive. Things change, however, early on in the film when April’s husband Ben (Matthew Broderick) tells her he is leaving her. He’s decided their life isn’t one he desires. Promising her a “best friends” scenario, he walks out of their marriage, leaving her life in shambles. What Ben couldn’t predict would be that her adoptive mother would die the following day, and her birth mother Bernice (Bette Midler) would surface, and create further chaos, and April’s life seemingly continues to unravel… Along the way, she forms a friendship which blossoms into an unexpected romance with a divorced father to one of her students (Colin Firth).

Just as April seems to believe she is emerging from the mess her life had suddenly become, she finds out that she is pregnant with her husband’s baby.

April was raised Jewish and makes no attempt to hide that her faith is very important to her. For the greater part of the film, she is faithful to pray, honor Jewish observances and place her God at the head of her life. At one point, a conversation around her sudden doubt in God’s goodness is had. It’s an emotional moment which could be found offensive.

From a Christian standpoint, there are many offenses in this one hour and forty minute film. There are repetitive uses of strong language, an intense sex scene, crass sexual dialogue between Bernice and April, and several other scenes which may cause some viewers to cringe…

HOWEVER, that being said, I truly loved this film. For anyone whose life has been, even minutely, touched by adoption—there is so much to be gleaned from this story. The script and performances show so much depth, and the humanity woven throughout the dialogue makes it completely relatable. We see characters whose lives are far from perfect, and sometimes they do the best they can. Then there are the other times, when they just mess up. This movie makes it easy to feel their agonies and heartaches, along with their triumphs. Each complicated scenario is worked out in ways which exemplify realistic possibilities, love, forgiveness, growth, God’s goodness and work together to create a truly beautiful ending.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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Movie Critics
…it has all the ingredients of a slick, commercial farce, which it emphatically is not. … Ms. Hunt takes every opportunity to avoid easy comic shtick and cutesy-poo sentimentality in an effort to make her characters act and sound like real people.
—Stephen Holden, The New York Times
…laugh-through-the-tears material… ‘Then She Found Me’ offers in spades. … Rating: ‘C’
—Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
…a modest comedy… By the end, ‘Then She Found Me’ emerges as an entry in the postmodern exploration of family, a unit that’s a patchwork, both natural and gerrymandered, diverse ethnically and religiously and stitched together with all sorts of extended members. …
—Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune
…Hunt's touch behind the camera is sometimes as severe as her demeanor in front of it, though she can do some very nice things; especially within the intimate surroundings where her actors flourish. …
—Gene Seymour, Newsday
…There are incompetent movies, and then there are incompetent movies in which Salman Rushdie turns up playing a gynecologist. … (1 out of 6 stars)
—Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out Chicago