HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Pumpkin Special Needs
Year: 2002
Director: Adam Larson Broder, Tony R. Abrams
Stars: Christina Ricci, Hank Harris, Brenda Blethyn, Dominique Swain, Marisa Coughlan, Sam Ball, Harry J. Lennix, Nina Foch, Caroline Aaron, Lisa Banes, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Melissa McCarthy
Genre: Comedy, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Carolyn McDuffy (Christina Ricci) is an upper class student at the University of Southern California whose sorority house has a rivalry with with the more popular one across the road. To help Carolyn's house win the best sorority prize, leader Julie (Marisa Coughlan) decides to turn to charitable acts, and gets the girls involved with training the local entrants in the "Challenged Games", where mentally disabled young men compete. Carolyn and her roommate Jeanine (Dominique Swain) are extremely reluctant, and once they meet up with the team they are supposed to be helping, Jeanine runs away in horror, but the initially sceptical Carolyn finds herself strangely drawn to her charge, whose nickname is Pumpkin (Hank Harris). Then the trouble begins.

Romantic comedies don't get much more deliberately uncomfortable than this one, written by co-director Adam Larson Broder, which goes to great lengths to confront prejudices about the mentally disabled, but with laughs. Misguided it may be, but it seems sincere, at least for the first half where the relationship between Pumpkin and Carolyn blossoms into romance. Everyone around the couple reacts with shock, anger or worse, leading to Carolyn's previously perfect existence as a popular girl being threatened. When she tries to talk to her snobbish, politely racist mother (Lisa Banes) about her troubles, she observes that life isn't as easy as she thought it was, to which her mother replies, "Aw, honey - yes it is!"

But it's not when you don't conform to your place in life, as Carolyn finds out. In Ricci's well-judged performance, naive but not entirely oversweet, the character causes havoc when the romance goes too far. Her sorority becomes a laughing stock and her tennis champ boyfriend Kent (Sam Ball) struggles to understand why she's not feeling the same way about him. Carolyn's eyes have been opened to a different side of life, and everybody is rejecting her because of it.

Early on, Carolyn sets up a double date with herself, Kent, and Pumpkin and socially awkward fat girl Cici (Melissa McCarthy) who she's befriended, not comprehending that Cici might be less than keen on having Pumpkin for a boyfriend. There is prejudice at every level, but it's Carolyn who's ostracised when her romance becomes public after it is consummated. Pumpkin's mother (Brenda Blethyn) is horrified when she finds the couple in bed together, and Carolyn is banned from seeing him. Cue a nervous breakdown from Carolyn, as the story's previously sunny, kitschy-sixties colours turn darker.

At some point during this film, after you've accepted that it's healthy to have your preconceptions tested in such a forthright manner, you begin to wonder just how much guilt can be piled onto Carolyn. The comedy grows more and more melodramatic, almost straight-faced camp, as disasters occur. Pumpkin, as played by Harris, is a kindly, simple soul, but doesn't really bear the weight the story puts on him, and there's a big problem, too: the film isn't all that funny. Obviously they couldn't resort to Pumpkin being the victim of cruel slapstick or generally made fun of, so the other characters are put through hell instead, as if punished for their prejudices. A strange experience, and not altogether successful, but it is different. What's the meaning of the last shot, though? Music by John Ottman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 9465 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: