Helen Hunt returns with “Then She Found Me”

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Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress

Helen Hunt
has emerged from the where-the-hell-have-you-been cold

case files! Phew. It’s dark and moldy in those little boxes in which

Hollywood tosses its female stars of yesteryear. Hunt will soon be seen

in Then She Found Me, a comedy with drama and a little romance,

also starring Matthew Broderick, Colin Firth and the Divine

Ms. M, Bette Midler. But what’s even nicer than seeing Hunt in front of the camera is that this new film features Hunt behind the camera, as well. Then She Found Me is Helen

Hunt’s feature film directorial debut, and it is has received its fair share

of positive

press
from earlier film festivals. The film is at last winding its

way to a general release in April.

The movie has been adapted

from a novel by Elinor Lipman of the same name, and Hunt helped to pen

the screenplay. Writer, director, and star? Is that the new

Hollywood version of the triple threat?

In Then She Found Me, Hunt plays an unassuming

schoolteacher who finds out that she is the biological daughter of an

abrasive talk show host (played by Midler) who placed her baby for adoption

at birth. The pairing of Hunt with Midler as the unlikely mother-and-daughter combo is enough of a draw for me to buy a movie ticket for

this one, but the story also seems interesting in that modern-day

complicated twist sort of way. You see, Hunt’s character is ending

a relationship with a pretty annoying guy (Broderick) and

beginning a relationship with a flawed but nice enough guy (Firth) who

has a daughter enrolled at the school where Hunt’s character teaches.

Hunt’s character learns that she is pregnant with her ex’s baby, though

she is still trying to see where her relationship will go with the new

guy. Talk about dyke drama! Oh, wait — I don’t think there are any lesbian

characters in this; just lesbian icons. Well, anyway, here’s the latest

trailer:





Hunt directed several

Mad About You
episodes, including the finale of the beloved series,

but she had never tried her hand at a feature. In a recent interview, Hunt discusses the journey of making

the film. It took years to get this movie made, then seen, and now

finally distributed and released. And it paid off: Hunt

was awarded the Breakthrough Director of the Year at ShoWest.

Hunt has had a pretty robust

35-year film and television career. For a woman, the on-screen career

can often dry up much earlier than the careers of her male counterparts, and historically

there have not been a lot of female directors in film. But

there has been a trend of actors turning directors and starting an entirely

new second career behind the camera, with Clint Eastwood as the role

model and leading the pack. Lately, Sean Penn, Ben Affleck and Denzel Washington are

all looking at shifting their focus to directing. Well, the guys may

have to make room in line, because based on the early accounts of

Then She Found Me
, Hunt may have a future in this directing business. The film opens April 25.

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