A Little Help feel a bit like Bridemaids, at least in the treatment of its protagonist. There may be less raunchy humor and more melodrama, but the way in which Jenna Fischer carries the film as a flawed woman overcoming the hardships of life. The film itself is better than average, but Fischer’s performance is phenomenal.
Set in 2002, this comedy has a little bit of a dark edge to it. Fischer stars as Laura, a
Long Island dental hygienist who has come to terms with the fact that life has let her down. Her attractive high school boyfriend has turned into an absent and adulterous husband (Chris O’Donnell), which leads Laura to sneak cigarettes and pound beers in-between work and caring for their 12-year-old son. After her husband unexpectedly dies, Laura’s world spins even further out of control.
When she moves her son to a new school, he tells everyone that his father was a firefighter who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, pulling Laura into a series of lies. She also must deal with her overbearing mother and sister, not to mention the advances of her sister’s husband (Rob Benedict), who confesses his longtime crush. As if this wasn’t enough, Laura is also pushed into a lawsuit over her husband’s death.