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Pumpkin /

Rated: R

Starring: Christina Ricci, Hank Harris, Marisa Coughlan, Sam Ball, Dominique Swain 

Directed by: Adam Larson Broder, Tony Abrams 

Produced by: Karen Barber, Andrea Sperling, Christina Ricci 

Written by: Adam Larson Broder 

Distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

 

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     Pumpkin is a movie that leaves us in mystery. We donít know whether to laugh or cry, sleep or stay awake. Most all of the material is as stupid and artificial as any filmmaker could produce, but the ironic satire that the film creates is hysterically likable. The way the very serious concept is dealt with somehow makes it okay for us to laugh at bums, retarded people, and authority. The ditzy ideas that Pumpkin brings to the table are delectably favorable, and make you think about sororities in a way youíd never thought of before.

     Carolyn McDuffy (Christina Ricci) is the most energetic, blonde, and popular member of a very competitive sorority house. She always outdoes all of her fellow members at everything, including men. Her boyfriend, Kent Woodlands (Sam Ball), is the hunkiest member of the top college tennis team in the country.  All is well, and she is prepared to take a free ride through her last year in college, but when her sorority is prepared to beat their rival house, who live across the street, they must take desperate measures. Every year, all of the schools sororities participate in a chosen event, to help society for the better. Carolynís sorority chooses to help retarded people excel in sporting. All of the girls are assigned a partner to train with, and Carolyn is paired up with a boy named Pumpkin Romanoff (Hank Harris). At first, Pumpkin appears to be the most dimwitted and colorless figure Carolyn has ever met. But as time moves on the two fall in love, and Carolyn must chose the man that she wants. Should she choose the retarded boy, Pumpkin, or the hunk, Kent? This would seem like an obvious decision, but in Pumpkin it isnít. The film is the oddest and most lackluster affair Iíve engaged in during my whole movie-going experience.

    Despite what people may think, the actors did a terrific job on this one. For an actor to act badly is easy. For an actor to act well is hard. For an actor to act badly, well, is harder. This is what the cast In Pumpkin had to do. The entire picture was supposed to look klutzy, and terribly acted, and the actors were able to do this well. Using the screenplay as evidence, I know that we are supposed to believe that the personalities are the most corny, cheesy looking people weíve ever seen in our lives. Carolyn McDuffy and Pumpkinís relationship isnít supposed to be a serious conversion of two types of people, but an attempt to make us think. Half of what is said in the flick doesnít make sense, but thatís half of the beauty. We are supposed to deeply ponder material that isnít supposed to be pondered, for lack of a better term. The material is like a big practical joke on its audiences, but itís a fun one. The stupid and insanely bizarre usage of irony never becomes annoying or innerving, but rather humorous.

     The direction, by Adam Larson Broder and Tony Abrams is intriguing. This might sound extremely stupid, but the ability to direct such unidirectional material is amazing. Pumpkin seems to be some reckless effort to waste peoplesí money, but when you dig down deep into its core, there is a thought provoking meaning to it all. Most all of its goodies are hidden, but if you can see the emotions of these otherwise comical characters that the direction tries to show, it is actually quite remarkable. Anyone who can watch this film without a thing going through their head must have the IQ of a baby. Most of what makes us think is created by the director. Every frame of video is interesting, and portrays a certain thought. If all movies were like this, the world would be a very confused place. This is what makes Pumpkin so good, its uniqueness.

     Pumpkin is one of a kind, and will be remembered when I go to make my list for the top ten movies of the year. The direction is stunningly intriguing, and adds just the right amount of sugar and spice to every scene shown in the final cut of the film. The performances are flawless, and Christina Ricciís is an extremely special mention. For a night of mixed emotions, this movie will not be a let down. Pumpkin will make you want to laugh, cry, and even permit sexual urges. Irony = unforgettable.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews

 


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