Then She Found Me
Directed by Helen Hunt (PG-13)
A woman struggles with divorce, infertility, and her mother.
Helen Hunt’s directorial debut proves “you can take the woman out of the sitcom, but you can’t take the sitcom out of the woman,” said David Ansen in Newsweek. Then She Found Me, an adaptation of an Elinor Lipman novel, finds Hunt shouldering the responsibilities of screenwriter, actress, and aspiring auteur. She plays a 39-year-old teacher whose biological clock begins ticking just as her adoptive mother dies, her man-child husband flees, and her biological mother shows up. Hunt avoids melodrama but also hesitates to delve into the disquietude of the script. Instead, the onetime star of Mad About You draws back to the “safety of sitcom beats.” Actually, she aims here for “something deeper and truer” than television fare, said Stephen Holden in The New York Times. She mostly succeeds, thanks to a cast that includes Bette Midler and Colin Firth. Hunt avoids “easy comic shtick and cutesy-poo sentimentality,” said Joe Leydon in Variety, eliciting comic but touching performances “rooted in sharply and warmly observed reality.” What at first looks to be a vanity project turns out to be “an exceptionally deft and self-assured debut.”