Adam Larson Broder and Tony R. Abrams
Christina Ricci, Hank Harris, Brenda Blethyn, Dominique Swain, Marisa Coughlan, Sam Ball
Widescreen; full screen; closed caption; French, Spanish, English subtitles.
|This precarious mix of sarcastic, cynical humor and melodrama takes on vapid collegiates interacting with the "differently abled," but it fails on two fronts. It's too jokey to be genuinely affecting and too smug to evoke real belly laughs. Even if the film doesn't know what it wants to be, it has the advantage of the always-watchable Christina Ricci ("Sleepy Hollow") as its central figure. Ricci plays Carolyn, the most precious, popular sister in a Southern California sorority house. Since the sorority members want to gain stature on campus by do-gooding, they agree to train participants in a Special Olympics-styled competition. Little does prissy Carolyn know that she'll begin to care for Pumpkin (Hank Harris), the handicapped athlete she's mentoring, and that the relationship will turn her life inside out. We're supposed to laugh knowingly at the cruel humor, then be moved by the love that grows out of Caroline's compassion toward Pumpkin. Squash that notion. With Brenda Blethyn as Pumpkin's overprotective mom.|