Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 2002. American Zoetrope, Bona Fide Productions, Pumpkin Productions LLC, United Artists. Screenplay by Adam Larson Broder. Cinematography by Tim Suhrstedt. Produced by Karen Barber, Albert Berger, Christina Ricci, Andrea Sperling, Ron Yerxa. Music by John Ottman. Production Design by Richard Sherman. Costume Design by Edi Giguere. Film Editing by Richard Halsey, Sloane Klevin.
There’s just too much wrong with this film to know where to begin. Christina Ricci plays a letter-perfect cheerleader who has it all: the looks, the house, the cash and the tennis-playing boyfriend. All that means nothing when she meets a mentally challenged boy named Pumpkin who ends up winning her heart. To have the romance she wants with him, however, she must face losing close friends, her parents, her boyfriend while also incurring the wrath of Pumpkin’s overprotective mother (Brenda Blethyn in an underused supporting role). The story is a wonderful one, original and fresh, but the directors have absolutely no idea what they’re doing; the tone switches between black comedy to serious tearjerker to light romantic comedy so often that you might think you’ve been changing channels. The overlong running time doesn’t help either, nor does Ricci’s painful miscasting in the lead role. There’s no doubt that her talent is great, but just listen to one line of her sarcastically perfect New England accent and you know right away that she’s lying.