A Little Help

Film
2 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

Any Office viewer can confirm that Jenna Fischer has a first-rate doleful stare, and writer-director Michael J. Weithorn's indie dramedy certainly gives his star ample opportunities to show off that finely tuned hangdog expression. As a Long Island housewife, she suffers slings and arrows galore: an undermining Type A sister, a philandering husband (O'Donnell) who suddenly drops dead, a 9/11-obsessed teenage son (Yelsky) hell-bent on acting out. But while Fischer handles every emotional curveball, she's not helped by the film's reliance on rote notions of piecing your life back together. Is it worth putting a good actor through the screen-martyrdom wringer for a minuscule payoff? Do we have to mention that this question is rhetorical?

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