The directing debut of Helen Hunt gets a passing grade, barely -- the story she's telling is as old as the hills, but Then She Found Me is still executed with style. Sometimes charming, occasionally funny, it never draws attention to itself as the work of a director with training wheels on. The film follows the journey of April Epner (Helen Hunt) a 39 year-old woman who is inexplicably marrying a man named Ben (Matthew Broderick) who is so inconsiderate and self-absorbed that no woman could find him to be primo marriage material. Just as they begin to realize their mistake, April gets the shock of a lifetime: her birth mother shows up and informs her that her real father was Steve McQueen. I kind of liked that premise and hoped the movie would go with it, but it turns out to be just a gag. April's mother, played well by Bette Midler, has a couple of screws loose. More to the point, she has a couple of screws loose when it's convenient, and provides sage and sound advice at other times.
Colin Firth co-stars as April's love interest, an emotionally volatile man with a kid who happens to be in the same school where April teaches, which leads to the kind of scene where the teacher is red-faced by having the kid notice that she is having a 'sleep over' with the father. Firth's character, Frank, tries hard to start up a relationship with April and aggressively pushes her onto his kids, but naturally he isn't very understanding of the fact that she's still seeing her almost-husband on the side, here and there. Usually, a romantic comedy of this type would set up the love triangle but make it more or less clear from the start who is going to win out and who isn't, so Then She Found Me deserves some credit for going a more complicated route and portraying all of these characters as seriously flawed. Frank, for instance, is prone to yelling and storming around in an absolute rage, which is never a good sign. Ben is worse, having nothing whatsoever going on in his life.