The Best and the Brightest (film)

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The Best and the Brightest
The Best and the Brightest.gif
Film poster
Directed by Josh Shelov
Produced by Nicholas Simon
Patricia Weiser
Robert Weiser
Screenplay by Josh Shelov
Michael Jaeger
Starring Neil Patrick Harris
Bonnie Somerville
Christopher McDonald
Amy Sedaris
Music by Ted Masur
Cinematography John Inwood
Edited by Peter Iannuccilli
High Treason Pictures
Release date
  • October 16, 2010 (2010-10-16)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Best and the Brightest is a 2010 American independent film. Directed by Josh Shelov, the film stars Neil Patrick Harris and Bonnie Somerville as Jeff and Sam respectively, a young couple that moves into New York City. The film centers around the effort they have to put in to get their five-year-old daughter Beatrice (Amelia Talbot) into an elite private kindergarten.

This is director Josh Shelov's debut feature-film, co-written with Michael Jaeger. The film received mostly mixed to positive reviews.


The film opens with Jeff (Neil Patrick Harris) and Sam (Bonnie Somerville) moving from Delaware into New York City with their five-year-old daughter Beatrice. Sam takes Beatrice on visit to several schools in the city to get Beatrice admitted for the current session, only to realize that there is very little prospect in such short period. After losing hope, she enlists help of Sue Lemon (Amy Sedaris), a consultant who helps couples in getting their kids admitted into schools. Though first Sue declines to help them for citing short notice, later she agrees after seeing Sam's stubborn determination.

Sue asks Jeff, who is a software programmer, to mention poetry as his profession. Jeff initially declines, however, Sam convinces him. On the day of first interview, Jeff and Sam asks Clark (Peter Serafinowicz), Jeff's college mate, to baby-sit Beatrice and leave her with him. During the visit, Clark shares a copy of sex chat he had with a prostitute with Jeff. Later at school, the couple is interviewed by Katharine Heilmann (Jenna Stern) who mistakes Clark's sex chat print copy for a poem written by Jeff and is visibly impressed. However, a freak incident involving Clark makes her decline Jeff and Sam's application.

Upon failing to impress Katharine, Sam and Sue decide and plan to befriend The Player (Christopher McDonald), a rich guy who is also chairman of school committee. Thus begins a series of comic plays and lies that the couple has to go through to get approval of The Player, The Player's wife (Kate Mulgrew), and Katharine. By the end of the movie, Sam is forced to choose between living the life she has dreamed of – but lying in order to do so – or going back to Delaware as herself.[1]



Film's casting was done by Jessica Kelly and Suzzane Smith (credited as Suzanne Smith Crowley).

Several scenes were filmed in the historic Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania


The film received mostly mixed to positive reviews.


  1. ^ "movie's website about page". Retrieved January 7, 2012. 

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