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Ivy ('Drew Barrymore'), a sexy teen who lives with her aunt, moves in with a reclusive teen (Gilbert) and slowly works her way into the lives of her adopted family. The mother (Ladd) is sickly and can't sexually satisfy her husband (Skerritt) any more, and to the daughter's horror, Ivy begins seducing her father. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
By all rights this should have been yet another R-rated sex and violence flick about a piece of immoral jailbait having her wicked way with everyone around her, but the directing and acting are good enough to make it more effective than most, even touching. The atmosphere is almost haunting, and the relationships between the characters (especially the two teenage girl leads) are well developed enough to hold your interest.
Sara Gilbert gives the film a sympathetic center, she's excellent as a bright, likeable high school girl who finds herself in far over her head when she befriends poor little bad girl Drew Barrymore. Her misery and frustration as Barrymore takes over her family, her life, even her dog are moving enough to make the flimsy story work. Barrymore wasn't much of an actress at that age (still isn't, in my opinion), but she's very effective nonetheless. She doesn't need to act, she needs to do what she does, look sexy. Really, really sexy, like it's all she ever thinks about. Cheryl Ladd also does surprisingly well as Gilbert's slowly dying mother.
The movie also has moments of an almost haunting quality. The score is lovely, alternately passionate and strangely moody, and gives the film enough emotional intensity to make me forgive its many flaws. Even Barrymore kissing Gilbert. Eeeew.
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