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Review: Then She Found Me.

BASED on the novel by Elinor Lipman, actress Helen Hunt's feature film directorial debut charts one woman's journey of self-discovery and the search for a biological mother.

Then She Found Me considers familiar themes of abandonment and identity through the eyes of a schoolteacher approaching her 40th birthday whose desire for a child is fuelled by her adoption at birth.

By raking over the smouldering coals of her past, the heroine finds answers to questions which have lingered her entire life, though not perhaps the resolution she always dreamed.

With her biological clock ticking louder than ever, New York teacher April Epner (Hunt) is desperate to begin her own brood with husband Ben (Broderick) when, out of the blue, he confesses "I don't want this life" - sending her into an emotional tailspin.

Frank (Firth), the divorced British father of one of her students, advises her to keep a cool head but the death of her adoptive mother (Cohen) threatens to tip April over the edge.

Then brassy talk-show host Bernice (Midler, pictured with Hunt) drops yet another bombshell ... she is her birth mother.

"I didn't give you up.

You were taken from me," confides Bernice, apparently keen to make up for lost time.

The film follows a predictable narrative trajectory, underplaying the turmoil wherever possible, but is enlivened by a really eye-catching performance from Broderick as an immature fool.

Co-written by Hunt, Alice Arlen and Victor Levin, there are flashes of droll humour to temper the emotional heartbreak and a heartfelt sincerity in the treatment of the characters as they wrestle with life-altering decisions.

STARRING: Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick, Lynn Cohen DIRECTOR: Helen Hunt CERTIFICATE: 15 RUNNING TIME: 100mins REVIEWER'S RATING: ***SHOWING: Showcase VERDICT: Some of the dialogue sounds a little stilted and Midler's portrayal of the brassy biological mom veers towards caricature as her daughter begs her to confess "you wanted a life more than you wanted me"

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 19, 2008
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