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Little Help, A (Blu-ray Review)

21 Oct, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 10/25/11
Box Office $0.1 million
$27.97 DVD, $29.97 Blu-ray
Rated ‘R’ for some language, some sexual content and drug use.
Stars Jenna Fischer, Chris O’Donnell, Daniel Yelsky, Lesley Ann Warren, Ron Leibman, Brooke Smith.

There’s just something about family dysfunction that keeps me entertained. If you’re anything like me, then you’ll enjoy A Little Help, starring “The Office’s” Jenna Fischer as a Long Island dental hygienist whose life plummets deeper into shambles when her workaholic husband (Chris O’Donnell) dies from an arrhythmia.

Laura is left with the baggage of raising the couple’s only child, Dennis (Daniel Yelsky). The wisecracking kid already is upset with his dad putting his job before spending time with him, and annoyed with his mother’s excuses and cigarette smoking. Add to these already-difficult changes the fact that Laura’s mother (Lesley Ann Warren) pressures her to send Dennis to a private school, and it’s only a matter of time before the youngster begins to act out.

Eager to make friends in the foreign environment, Dennis tells a horrible lie about his father being a fireman who died on 9/11, which garners the intended response. Laura is livid when she learns of the lie but decides to play along. As predicted, the truth comes out at a most inopportune time.

Simultaneously, Laura, under pressure from her domineering sister, Kathy (Brooke Smith), sues the doctor who saw her husband just days before his death. She’s told that the money from the settlement will be the only way she can take care of herself and her son, but the lawyer (Kim Coates) is just as overbearing as her mother and sister, and Laura just wants all the madness to end.

Rounding out Laura’s flawed family is her brother-in-law (Rob Benedict), who reveals that he’s been harboring feelings for her since high school, and her father (Ron Leibman), a retired sports journalist with severe post-retirement delusions of grandeur. Seeing these two bicker brings levity just when the film starts to get too depressing.

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