A Little Help is a Jenna Fischer vehicle that illustrates the depth that Fischer can bring to even a shallow character. In this dramedy, Fischer is suddenly widowed and must reassemble her life and support her quirky 12-year-old son despite the intrusions of her shrill, micro-controlling sister (Brooke Smith) and their chilly mother (Leslie Anne Warren). Fischer’s biggest challenge is helping her son navigate social life at his new school, where he has told a preposterous lie on his first day.
Kim Coates steals every scene as a medical malpractice attorney. Ron Liebman sparkles as the blowhard father.
Writer/Director Michael J. Weithorn made the very smart decision to hold Fischer’s character accountable for the bad choices she has made in her life. If she were instead written as a completely innocent victim, the story would have lapsed into cliche. Instead, it’s a pretty good movie and a fine showcase for Jenna Fischer.