Dave White
Hard Candy Review

Dave's Rating:

1.0

… obvious dumb monologues …

Who's in It: Patrick Wilson, Ellen Page, Sandra Oh

The Basics: Hey, grown men, it's wrong to lust after teenagers. Unless you're Gus Van Sant or Larry Clark or Richard Kern or Jerry Lee Lewis or Captain John Smith. Then it's OK. But if you're not one of them, then you're going to be tortured. Stylishly, of course.

What's the Deal? Here's a cool idea. Make a movie about a 14-year-old girl who attempts to destroy a man she believes to be a pedophile and murderer. Then be all "edgy" and shoot this kid like she's an object of desire every step of the way, using sexy lighting and fake sprayed-on movie sweat glistening on her pouty lips. Even as she's putting a noose around the dude's neck. That won't be creepy or anything.

More Cool Ideas! Forget about being truly smart or exploring ideas about teenage sexuality and consent or about the history of the idea of the castrating female in Western culture. The filmmakers don't seem to care that making that sort of thing literal might be read in a variety of ways. This is revenge! Go for the gut and the shock value and add some obvious dumb monologues that explain deep-seated troubles in the bad guy and St. Crispin's Day victory speeches from the 14-year-old's mouth.

Best Ridiculous Dialogue, Male: Recalling childhood abuse, the pedophile guy talks about how his "tears sizzled as they hit the [stove's] burner."

Best Ridiculous Dialogue, Female: "I'm every girl you've hurt, tortured, raped and murdered!"

There Are Better Movies About Pedophiles Out There; Here Are Two of Them: L.I.E., about a kid who develops a weird, almost familial bond with the neighborhood child molester, and Chickenhawk, a super-disturbing documentary about NAMBLA.

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