The more rumpled Dennis Quaid has become, the more interesting he’s gotten as an actor. Smart People gives him one of his most rumpled parts. Another indie-minded, dysfunctional family dramedy, Smart People stars Quaid as Lawrence Wetherhold, a cranky English professor who uses his widower status as an excuse to indulge his every arrogant, misanthropic whim. When his deadbeat brother (Thomas Haden Church) moves in, Lawrence and his equally miserable daughter (Ellen Page) are gradually nudged toward a form of happiness. (Sarah Jessica Parker also helps as a doctor and romantic interest for Lawrence.) The entire cast is impressive – one of the movie’s strengths is that it gives generous screen time to each of the characters – but Quaid is the standout. As life has weathered him, his star quality has softened into something more malleable. He’s been worn into a star who can act.