Trite and smug comedy about a precocious teenager with starry-eyed dreams of being his step-mother’s paramour, instead arousing interest as a posterboy for the post-menopausal yet-still-sexually-inclined crowd of women.It is sparse in terms of visual offers, doing the least possible amount to actually capture the darting and bobbing objects filmed, further handicapped by way of some of the shoddiest use of digital video yet. (When will the filmmakers understand that just because DV alone is a cheaper way to go than film, it does not mean it shouldn’t be used with the same care as film? You might not be spending the same sum, but pretend as if you were!) The manipulation of the teenage boy has also become a tired trend in films, superficially inserting glib dialogue as a facetious mouthpiece that screams for the sophisticated treatment and banter of Whit Stillman. Stillman’s erudite efforts have obviously fallen on an older sprectrum of characters — not to mention completely different social groups, but he did at least touch a closer crowd in his first film Metropolitan, and it is never an issue of his trying to pass it off as anything other than pompous and artificial. (Another misdirected foray of the teenager can be seen, at least with a modicum of better deliverance, if not through what they are saying, in Igby Goes Down.) Of course, none of this has prevented the attraction of Sigourney Weaver and Bebe Neuwirth, but then again neither of them prove here that they are worthy of rising above the material. Haven, however, is within the ephemeral running-time. Directed by Gary Winick; with Aaron Stanford, John Ritter, and Ron Rifkin.[Not to be bothered with.]
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2002 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2002 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.