Review Date: November 03, 2002
Director: Anthony Abrams, Adam Larson Broder
Writer: Adam Larson Broder
Producers: Christina Ricci, Andrea Sperling, Ron Yerxa
Christina Ricci as Carolyn McDuffy
Hank Harris as Pumpkin
Marisa Coughlan as Julie Thurber
It angered me because I was never given any background on any of the characters, most especially the two leads, one of whom was presented as a hollow human being with zero real emotions, and the other who is obviously mentally-challenged, but about whom we really know nothing else. Since when had he been like that? Are his "improvements" impressive or par for the course for someone like him? Are his feelings real or just an infatuation? We are given no real background on Pumpkin himself, barely shown any scenes between the two leads, and yet we're supposed to believe that they both somehow "fell in love" with each other? At some point, Pumpkin turns to Ricci's character and tells her that she's the "smartest girl he's even met"--- but the guy had barely spoken to her up to that point! All we ever see between their characters is a montage of them practicing for the Olympics, and suddenly...they both have this "deep connection" to one another? I didn't see it, I didn't buy it, I didn't recognize it, I didn't feel it in the dialogue and I didn't witness any chemistry whatsoever between them. In fact, pretty much every single character seemed to change their mind about ten different times in this movie to the point that I just didn't give a shit about what anyone said anymore. And was there any reason why the two mothers in the picture were both uncaring and alcoholic? Or was that some of the so-called "comedy" that I missed? And since when can anyone other than Superman survive a flying leap off a cliff in a car that explodes in mid-air and lands dead into the ground? The man in the car comes out alive and without a burn. What the --?!? Or was all that just an obvious plot device used to showcase the irony in that character's fate? Ugh. If so, it was about as subtle as a kick to the nuts.
Ultimately, things get even more ridiculous during an embarrassingly laughable fight (not "haha" laughable), and as if that wasn't bad enough, the score turns out to be a weakass rip-off of the much greater, and much more effective, anthem from REQUIEM FOR A DREAM. What was good in the movie? Ricci looked cute (and her monster cans were alive and well), there was this one "rebel" teacher who was hilarious, the guy who played Kent was good (although much like every other character in the movie, he changed his opinion more times than I change mine about quitting this job) and one specific scene featuring a double-date gone wrong was somewhat amusing. Other than that, this flick is just plain inconsistent and even lengthens its load (for no good reason-Ricci's character just decides to dump her dude and go "find herself" all of a sudden), to a crescendo scene in which Ricci offers some poignant words to her ex-boyfriend, while her nipples are bulging out of her sweater for all to see. C'mon...am I on "Candid Camera" here? Yuck, yuck, yuck...stay far away! BTW, the dude who wrote this film only has one other movie credit on his resume and that is the "story" credit to DEAD MAN ON CAMPUS. No joke.