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Fiction writer Mark Jude Poirier has a long history teaching college, and his debut screenplay explores the contempt some academics feel for people who can't function at their intellectual level, as well as the unhappiness such arrogance brings. Dennis Quaid is a supercilious English professor whose wife's recent death has made him even more haughty; Ellen Page is his Young Republican daughter, dripping with sarcasm and obsessed with her grades; Thomas Haden Church is his adopted brother, an easygoing stoner who invites himself to live with them; and Sarah Jessica Parker is the well-adjusted doctor who's plunged into this menagerie after she and the professor hit it off. Poirer and director Noam Murro have trouble bringing this to a satisfying climax, but the characters are credible and sharply observed and all four actors go to town. R, 93 min.

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