A Little Help 2010

Critics score:
41 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Keith Staskiewicz, Entertainment Weekly: Fischer's performance is sweet and subtle, but the film can be so understated in tone and plot that it's hard to tell if it's actually saying anything. Read more

Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times: Though the enjoyable prickliness of the film's early scenes soon dissolves into cozy solutions, a sturdy supporting cast - even Ron Leibman's scenery-chewing turn as Laura's blowhard father is more amusing than annoying - balances the scales. Read more

David Fear, Time Out: While Fischer handles every emotional curveball, she's not helped by the film's reliance on rote notions of piecing your life back together. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: A lackluster, weirdly paced and ultimately dull story of a woman in crisis - played for laughs, except there aren't any. Read more

Nathan Rabin, AV Club: It's difficult to figure out exactly where the film might be heading at any given point, since it follows the loping, meandering rhythms and casualness of a character study rather than conforming to the conventions of any particular genre. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: It's no disaster, just OK, with Fischer boosting it a notch or two from what it otherwise would be. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: It's not that Jenna Fischer is miscast in "A Little Help.'' It's that she's mis-everything else: misused, misdirected, misanthropic. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: "A Little Help" settles for familiar and modest payoffs. It's not much. Yet Fischer clearly relishes the chance to play someone who's a demurely reckless mess. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: A Little Help doesn't dazzle, and you can pick at its parts, but Fischer's performance gives the movie a sense of romantic weariness that lingers. Life is a series of disasters to be weathered, no matter how cute you are. Read more

Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter: Ultimately, the film is best appreciated as a welcome big-screen starring vehicle for Fischer, who expertly navigates the comedic and dramatic demands of a role that keeps her onscreen for virtually the entire running time. Read more

Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times: If the film takes too long to reach its rather soft denouement, Fischer makes Laura's awakening convincing. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: A Little Help doesn't settle for the dark comedy it should have been. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: That this is small comedy is fine. That it doesn't have a single big laugh is a little tiresome. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: It finds its footing in a morose but funny reflection of life upended. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: File this one in the same category of edgy Long Island comedies as the equally smart 2008 Alec Baldwin film "Lymelife." Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: The actors are sincere (especially Ms. Fischer, who plays frustration well) and the direction has a complacent rhythm, but 1 hour and 48 minutes is too long for a movie in which nothing much happens. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: This is one of the smarter, more honest scripts to be filmed in quite some time. And Jenna Fischer gives one of the smarter, more honest - and vulnerable, and tough - performances by an actress on the big screen in an even longer stretch. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: It's manipulative, yes, but clever and persuasive in its manipulations. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The film suffers from an uncertain tone, playing serious situations for laughs while supplying Laura with a drinking habit and a hair-trigger temper that come across as problems rather than endearing foibles. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: With a little help from films like this, Fischer could trade her small-screen fame for multiplex stardom. Read more

Jordan Riefe, TheWrap: Read more

Aaron Hillis, Village Voice: The film's title needs a question mark, as our drowning heroine must grab her own bootstraps, but for all its sincerity, the film is as average and forgettable as most CBS comedies. Read more

John DeFore, Washington Post: The next chapter in Laura's story might be something worth rooting for, but here's hoping she has a different writer penning her lines. Read more