I can't think of a human activity I'd recommend less than watching this hackneyed, straining-to-be-lurid domestic drama, the umpteenth cynical attempt to bait today's supposedly alienated teen audience with an overt reiteration of the theme 'life sucks.â?� (Those words are even uttered in the voice-over narration, lest anybody miss the subtle subtext.) An orphaned deaf mute (underage 'itâ?� girl Camilla Belle) gets sent to live with an obnoxious cheerleader (Elisha Cuthbert) and her family, all of whom happen to be hiding an unspeakable secret. Believe it or not, it's a revelation more disturbing than the degree to which mama Edie Falco's short haircut makes her resemble Laugh-In's Henry Gibson.
Director Jamie Babbit has essentially remade American Beauty ' Cuthbert's cheerleader's outfit looks like a hand-me-down from Mena Suvari ' only she's omitted the jokes and placed the action on sets that seem left over from a Michael Mann movie of 20 years ago (lots of blue light streaming into underfurnished rooms that are otherwise darkened for no good reason). Instead of winning sympathy for any of its characters, the movie wallows in exploitation: You know the creative team spent hours getting the blood spattered on one teen's cleavage to look just so. (R; opens Friday, Sept. 1, at Regal Winter Park Village Stadium 20, 407-628-0035)
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.