Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Review - Teeth

This quirky film directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein recieved high praise at Cannes in 2007 and had me excited for a fresh look at Dark Comedy/Horror. Set in a mundane middle american town with a haunting backdrop of nuclear power looming, we find Dawn played by Jess Weixler who feels that there is something very different about her. As Dawn learns of her new "difference" she realizes that it is something she can use to her advantage.

This film starts off very strong with our first glismp of dawn in a pool as child with her stepbrother. The two decide to show eachother their private parts, but brad, dawn's stepbrother gets a painful surprise when he decides to touch instead of just look. The film quickly fast forwards to dawn's teenage life and dawn is a support leader in a abstinence group called "the ring." The films has most of its best dialogue here in the early part of the film. The film really pokes fun at religion/abstinence and works perfectly. Weixler, furthermore does an amazing job at the "pep-rallies" getting the crowd pumped on abstinence, it is downright comical. This early offbeat nature to the film is what was hoping for and really liked.

The acting in the film was decent. Jess Weixler shines probably the brighest in the cast of mainly unknowns. Dawn's quasi boyfriend Tobey played by Hale Appleman is a hiliarious look at an akward boy using religion to get into girls panties. The problems do not arrise with the acting, but instead in the script itself. The second half on the film just did not agree with me. While the film starts on an offbeat quirky tone pushing heavily on abstinence, the film turns sloppy and gives no real reasoning for dawn's change in belief structure. Dawn's complete moral compass is destoryed and she does a total 180 by the end of the film. She goes from the sweet nice girl who pushes abstinence proudly, to a woman who'll use any man to get what she wants with no remorse whatsoever.

Lichtenstein does his best work early in the film with the plays on abstinence and religion. He illustrates the relationship between the teenage boys and girls in a really akward manner that had the viewer laughing. The game of how far they could go with eachother. The violence and gore were also good in the film. It may be stomach turning to some but, I found it hysterical. Loved the rottweiler bit. The downfall was the second half of the film which felt like it was spiraling out of control. Teeth is a film that had alot of hype and a great concept, but utlimately missed the mark.