Saturday, July 15, 2006
Suck on this: Thumbsucker (2005)
"Ever felt like you're walking a path that others can't see?"
Dir. Mike Mills
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Q. How much pretentious indiemoviewank are we supposed to sit through in the Wake of Donnie Darko et al?
A. A never ending stream (thumb)suckers!!
Actually I’m just playing with ya – Thumbsucker is a joyful little comedy that owes a debt to most recent teen films and yet manages to walk it’s own path. It’s probably not for everyone but this adaptation of a novel by Walter Kirn is nice nough way to be reminded that you’re probably not alone in facing ‘the universal human condition of being less than totally satisfied with yourself’.
So here we have weido loser Justin Cobb (played with floppy haired conviction by Lou Taylor Pucci) - a 17-year-old who still sucks his thumb. This self digit sucking affliction makes him feel like an outcast from his family and peers, but in reality they seem to be far more screwed up than his thumb maligned dentistry… Dad Mike (Vincent D'Onofrio) can’t deal with his long-gone pro football dreams, Mum Audrey (Tilda ‘Narnia will be mine’ Swinton) may or may not be having it off with TV heartthrob Matt Schramm (a willfully cheesy Benjamin Bratt) and it’s possible that only kooky Zen guru orthodontist Dr. Lyman (Keanu ‘dude’ Reeves) can guide him on the true path towards some sort of social acceptance and any chance of ever getting laid!
Also formative in his development is his ‘debate class’ teacher Mr. Geary (Vince ‘serious role for once’ Vaughn), and when Justin substitutes Ritalin for his thumb and becomes a killer debater, confident girl befriender and all round smug asshole you are still kind of rooting for him…
Kelli Garner is the babe of the piece, a fine looking young lady who would be enough to make any man want to stop sucking himself – man she has got some fine assets! – but here she’s a cruel honey, the type that eats up men and spit out their broken hearts…
Thumbsucker is a decent little film – worth a couple of hours of your life… Especially if you’re a bit odd!?
Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):
Action ööö – teen angst and semi redemption
Laughs ööö – wry, deadpan humour
Horror ö – move along, there's nothing too grim (apart from one bloody scene where Swinton has to shove her fist up Benjamin Bratt's ass in order to retrieve some life threatening drugs!)
Babes öööö – Kelli Garner, v. v. v. hot!
Overall ööö1/2 (suck it and see)
"sucking thumbs is just the start..."
Darkmatters: H O M E
Posted by Matt Adcock at 6:32 pm