Then She Found Me



Mature dramedy interesting, but meanders too much.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A woman is left by her husband, promptly finds someone else, and is then confused between the two of them. A woman appears claiming to be April's mother, but she seems to have a propensity for lying. Still, the characters -- even the immature husband -- are well-intentioned and appear to hurt others out of confusion rather than malice.


Loud quarrels, sometimes in public venues, but no physical fights.


A married couple furtively has sex soon after the husband says he's leaving; later, they tryst in a car (with the passenger seat still open; he's shown zipping up his pants). There's not much nudity, but lots of panting, etc. Other embraces are depicted as well (mostly making out). A character gets pregnant by one man even though she's dating another.


Everything from "goddammit" to "f--k" -- not particularly frequent usage, but there's a fair sprinkling.


Book jackets are shown, since one character writes copy for them. Bernice's fictional TV show is mentioned a few times.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this indie dramedy deals with heavy, mature themes, including infidelity, divorce, and infertility. The romantic entanglements are messy, as is the newly discovered mother-daughter relationship between Bernice and April. The sex scenes aren't explicit, but they're quite frank (and there's lots of panting and other noises). The film also candidly captures the ambivalence some people feel about adoption, and the discussions can border on uncomfortably painful. Expect some swearing, social drinking, and some heated verbal exchanges as well.

What's the story?

Schoolteacher April Epner (Helen Hunt) married her childhood pal, Ben (Matthew Broderick). Too bad he hasn't grown up, which may explain why he books it out of their marriage when the going gets rough (she badly wants a baby, and nothing's working). Soon after, April's adoptive mother dies. Just when it seems like no other tornadoes can hit her already turbulent existence, her long-lost birth mother appears. Bernice Graves (a muted Bette Midler) is a brassy, bossy, but well-meaning TV talk show host who helps April navigate her newly messy life. And what a mess it is: She still cares for her husband, she still wants a baby, and she's falling in love with Frank (Colin Firth), the father of one of her students.

Is it any good?


While it's nice to see a film that isn't afraid to be complicated, THEN SHE FOUND ME's script could use tightening. There are so many turns that the storyline loses its focus. It's shifty like April's ex and shapeless like her dresses. (Must she look so dowdy?) April's relationship with Bernice, which could have been mined more deeply for drama, unnecessarily loses its interest along the way. Considering that the movie's title refers directly to that link and discovery, the film squanders that potential.

That Hunt is talented isn't up for argument. She co-wrote the script and directed the film (adapted from the novel by Elinor Lipman), and stars in it, too. Here, she displays the type of subtle, finely tuned performance for which she's garnered awards in the past. She's great with transitions between drama and comedy, and she knows how to make the most of a moment while exuding the gravity her character deserves. Still, April feels too deeply melancholic; it's hard to believe that someone in such a heavy funk could love so readily and so soon. Then again, the object of her affection is Firth, who plays Frank charmingly and with admirable naked emotion. He's as good as he gets.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what messages the movie sends about adoption. Why is April at first so against it when she herself is adopted? What changes her mind? Is her relationship with Bernice believable? In general, do you think movies present realistic relationships between adult parents and children? Why or why not? Teens: What do you imagine your relationship with your parents will be like as you get older?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 2, 2008
DVD release date:September 2, 2008
Cast:Colin Firth, Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick
Director:Helen Hunt
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some sexual content.

This review of Then She Found Me was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Funny, but not a light comedy for youngsters.
  • Make some popcorn and get out the Kleenex.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byroc2theEDGE September 19, 2009

Pretty good movie

Good movie with some somewhat complicated reationships. Not an overly sexed movie


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide