I first saw ‘A Little Help’ at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival last February. Poor Laura. This suburban Long Island housewife and mother feels she’s loosing her husband. As it turns out, she does lose him, but not to his secretary with whom he’s having an affair, to arrhythmia. Now she has to deal with widowhood. Her chunky son is telling a whopper of a lie to make his dad seem a hero. Her mother offers no solace or compassion, but continues to order her around and pressure her as if she were still a teenager. Her sister admits she always hated her for being the pretty one. Her brother-in-law reveals an old secret first explored in ‘Like Water for Chocolate’ (1992). Her lawyer insists she sue because she is now penniless. But nobody is giving her the least bit of actual help or support. Laura is not used to making decisions and is doing the best she can, especially with all the obstructions put in her way by the very people who should be on her side. As the film’s press materials state: ‘This compelling dark comedy is achingly sad, warmly touching and surprisingly funny.’ And on this rare occasion, I completely agree.
A Little Help
Director / Writer: Michael J. Weithorn
Cast: Jenna Fischer, Chris O’Donnell, Leslie Ann Warren, Kim Coates, Rob Benedict, Brooke Smith, Aida Turturro, Ron Leibman
Opening July 29 at the Opera Plaza in San Francisco