By Gerald Aaron, September 19, 2008
Schoolteacher April Hunter - played with understated conviction by Helen Hunt - is Jewish - a fact established at the start with her wedding to boyish Ben (Matthew Broderick). That said, there is nothing particularly Jewish about her character in this witty bittersweet comedy which finds her suffering various family traumas. Hunt's low-key directorial debut is impressive, eliciting effective performances from the other players in a moving and amusing story. More importantly, she allows Bette Midler to give possibly her best performance as the Jewish mother par excellence.