A Little Help
Release Date: July 22, 2011
Director: Michael J. Weithorn
Screenwriter: Michael J. Weithorn
Starring: Jenna Fischer, Chris O’Donnell, Rob Benedict, Daniel Yelsky, Kim Coates, Brooke Smith, Lesley Ann Warren, Ron Leibman, Zach Page, Arden Myrin, Aida Turturro, Jim Florentine, Dion DiMucci Sara Kapner, Michelle Hurst, Dena Hysell, Joe Gressis, Glen Trotiner
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Set in suburban Long Island in the post-9/11 summer of 2002, “A Little Help” examines a period of chaotic and rather bizarre upheaval in the life of dental hygienist Laura Pehlke (Jenna Fischer).
Up to now Laura has had the wind at her back in life by virtue of her good looks and effortless charisma. But lately things have begun to take some dark and difficult turns. Her marriage to real estate agent Bob Pehlke (Chris O’Donnell) has become tense and loveless – Laura even has suspicions that he’s cheating – and her relationship with her 12 year-old son Dennis (Daniel Yelsky) has become strained as well, his emerging adolescence having turned him typically sullen and hostile. Laura has not been dealing well with all this – she’s drinking and smoking too much; her self-esteem and confidence are in free fall.
When Bob dies suddenly Laura is a deer in the headlights. Her intrusive mother, Joan (Lesley Ann Warren) and sister, Kathy (Brooke Smith) step in to fill the vacuum – they pressure Laura to send Dennis to an exclusive private school, and force her to hire a ruthless lawyer, Mel Kaminsky (Kim Coates), to file a malpractice lawsuit.
As Laura struggles to stay afloat in a vortex of deception, she finds that the one person with whom she can connect and communicate with is, ironically, Kathy’s husband Paul (Rob Benedict) as their respective circumstances begin to draw them powerfully toward each other – despite the obvious complications and dangers that this implies.