I was lucky enough to go this movieís LA premiere at the Egyptian Theater courtesy of Sony Classics and FIND LA. This is a flick about a high school teen that is struggling with life and trying to stop sucking his thumb. Yep, thatís right, sucking his thumb. This is a comedy/drama with heart and is really tough to categorize as being one thing.
This movie features some great acting headlined by 20 year-old Lou Pucci as Justin Cobb. He is the thumbsucker. He gets advice from his orthodontist, played here by Keanu Reeves. He thinks his Mom, played by Tilda Swinton, is having an affair with a TV star (Benjamin Bratt) at a rehab facility where she begins work suspiciously after heís been admitted for a drug problem. He is also becoming involved with a girl at his school named Rebecca (Kelli Garner) whoís on the debate team and leads him on an odd sort of intro to sex. Then youíve got the debate coach, played by the absolutely out there Vince Vaughn, who builds him then tears him down. Finally, Vincent DíOnofrio who plays Justinís Dad rounds out the cast. A man who had a potential stellar football career shattered with a knee injury and is still as competitive as ever. There are plenty of other characters, which is really what the story is about. Itís about these people.
The movie is really well shot and looks fantastic. It has some great mood music, which is performed by the group The Polyphonic Spree. Both of these elements make for a really moody strange film. Thatís really the charm of the movie though. Itís not trying to be anything in particular; it just is what it is.
I laughed often. I got a little choked up at times. Some times, I was just bewildered, and trying to figure out what the heck they were all doing. Get this, Justin sucks his thumb for security, but when his school suggests he be put on Ritalin because he has ADD, he embraces this idea. He thinks that if this pill will help him to become normal, then all of his problems go away. Fat chance huh? This movie also features some of the absolute best dream type sequences that are tied into the narrative and sometimes play out like daydreams and sometimes as just weird parts of life.
Iím not really sure what else to say, except that if you like quirky movies and coming of age kind of movies, you should check this one out. It doesnít really fit into a category per se, but itís a good flick and highly enjoyable.
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