Dave's Rating:


… most annoying …

Who's in It: Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson, Jennifer Connelly, Jackie Earle Haley

The Basics: A suburban mom who's too good and smart for her surroundings (Winslet) has an affair with a stay-at-home dad (Wilson). They're surrounded by creeps and judgmental matrons and — here comes the movie's title — a paroled pedophile who can't seem to stay away from the neighborhood pool. But don't worry, all sins are judged in the movie's last act in the most annoying way possible.

What's the Deal? The suburbs, as anybody who's a fan of self-important movies like American Beauty will tell you, are hell on earth, full of hypocrites and dead souls and the place where the world's true evil comes to pass. Big-city filmmakers love this myth, because most of them grew up in the suburbs and then left them behind. Movies about the subject are like extended teenage rebellion.

What Doesn't Suck About It: There's something very cool about Winslet. It's like she realized early on how to be one of those direct, no-nonsense British actresses; she didn't let Titanic ruin her, and she went out of her way to choose parts that always make her look as though she was correct to take them, even if the movies themselves are lame.

Pedigree: It's from Tom Perrotta, the writer of Election, and writer-director Todd Field (In the Bedroom). So it's half black satirical comedy and half hand-wringing morality play.

That Darn Child Molester: If you're old enough to remember teen actor Jackie Earle Haley from the original Bad News Bears, that's him as the disturbed pedophile. He used to be kind of a surly teen heartthrob back in the day. Now he looks like a creepy pedophile.


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