A Little Help

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A Little Help
A Little Help film poster.jpg
Directed byMichael J. Weithorn
Produced by
  • Dena Hysell
  • Joe Gressis
  • Michael J. Weithorn
Written byMichael J. Weithorn
Secret Handshake Entertainment
Distributed byFreestyle Releasing[1]
Release date
  • May 21, 2010 (2010-05-21) (Seattle)
  • July 22, 2011 (2011-07-22) (United States)
Running time
109 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$96,868[2]

A Little Help is a 2010 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Michael J. Weithorn. It follows the experiences of a dental hygienist following her unfaithful husband's sudden death. It debuted on May 21, 2010 at the Seattle International Film Festival.[3]


Laura Pehlke (Jenna Fischer) is married to Bob (Chris O'Donnell) and together they raise their 12-year-old son Dennis (Daniel Yelsky). Laura is a dental hygienist and Bob works in a real estate office and often comes home late. The family goes to a birthday barbecue of Laura's twin niece and nephew. Laura suspects Bob is cheating on her and they get into a fight. She runs away from the house and Bob runs after her and suddenly collapses on the road. After a brief examination the doctor says he has had a panic attack. Later that night Laura tries to have sex with Bob during which he has another stroke and he dies, and his condition later diagnosed as arrhythmia.

Laura's sister, Kathy Helms (Brooke Smith) and mother Joan Dunning (Lesley Ann Warren) are overbearing in their attempts to help Laura manage her life. Kathy insists Laura go to a lawyer to discuss her economic state. The lawyer claims the only way to get along with the money they have is to sue the doctor. Reluctantly, Laura cooperates. During the process Bob's secretary admits to having an affair with him.

Laura's nephew, Kyle Helms, is an enthusiastic guitarist, and his father supports him but his mother thinks it hinders his academic future. She dismisses the garage band Kyle made with his friends. One day his father, a radio station employee, takes Kyle with him to see Dion DiMucci, who is visiting the radio program. After the program Kyle and Dion meet and play together.

Dennis moves to a private school on the insistence of Laura's mother. In order to gain popularity with the kids at the new school he lies and says his father died in the September 11 attacks while saving lives as a fireman. Laura confronts her son and criticizes his actions but he persuades her to back up his story and she ends up repeating the story to his class. One day, Dennis goes to a birthday party of a friend and he gets a body painting of the burning World Trade Center on his back. A kid who knew Dennis from summer camp happens to be at the party and he tells the other kids Dennis has been lying. Meanwhile, Laura coincidentally meets the kid's mom at a gas station, learns of the camp friend attending the party, and realizing the truth about Dennis' father will come out, she rushes to the party, but arriving too late to prevent the damage, finds her son sitting alone and crying, ostracized by the group.

Paul Helms (Rob Benedict) is married to Kathy, Laura's sister. One night he and Laura happen to be on the yard together, they smoke pot and talk. Paul confesses he has had a crush on Laura since school and he married Kathy just to get something similar to Laura, which turned out to be a mistake. Back in high school he tried to get her attention by throwing a tennis ball over the fence and asking her for "a little help" by returning the ball. Some days later Laura calls Paul at work and invites him to meet her. She tells Paul she regrets not returning the balls back in high school, because now she feels about him like he felt about her. She moves away a little, he comes after her, tells her she is beautiful and they kiss.

As events unfold, Laura eventually has a breakthrough moment and we see her begin to take over control of her own situation, and the beginnings of her healing.



  1. ^ "A Little Help". Freestyle Releasing.
  2. ^ "A Little Help (2011)". Box Office Mojo. 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  3. ^ Seattle International Film Festival

External links[edit]