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A massage therapist looking to overcome her addictions and reconnect with her son, whose father is an anthropologist in South America studying the Yanomani people, moves in with a wealthy ex-client in New Jersey.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ian
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Marcus Gates
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Paige
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Giacomo
Jeff Westmoreland ...
Whitney
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Storyline

Trapped in his mother's Lower East Side apartment, sixteen-year-old Finn wants nothing more than to escape New York and spend the summer in South America studying the Iskanani Indians, or "Fierce People," with the anthropologist father he's never met. But Finn's dreams are shattered when he is arrested in a desperate effort to help his drug-dependent mother, Liz, who scrapes by working as a masseuse. Determined to get their lives back on track, Liz moves the two of them into a guest house on the vast country estate of her ex-client, the aging aristocratic billionaire, Ogden C. Osbourne. In Osbourne's close world of privilege and power, Finn and Liz encounter a tribe fiercer and more mysterious than anything they might find in the South American jungle: the super rich. While Liz battles her substance abuse and struggles to win back her son's love and trust, Finn falls in love with Osbourne's beautiful granddaughter, Maya, befriends her charismatic older brother, Bryce, and even wins ... Written by Zoey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing is more savage than high society. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use, sexuality/nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

30 November 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Des Gens Impitoyables  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$19,968 (USA) (7 September 2007)

Gross:

$85,410 (USA) (21 September 2007)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Donald Sutherland who plays President Snow In The Hunger Games Trilogy has a line in the movie that says "If the odds are in their favor" similar to "may be the odds be in their favor" from his Hunger Games role. See more »

Goofs

When the police car takes them away from their apartment it has a stop light out, but when it is arriving at the country house the light is fixed. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Finn Earl: [narrating] There's this tribe in South America called the Ishcanani. That means fierce people.
Finn Earl: They're. They're like the meanest people in the world. They'll cut off your thumbs, and they'll shit in your hammock just like we say hello.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 8 September 2007 (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Un bel di vedremo
from "Madama Butterfly"
Written by Giacomo Puccini / Luigi Illica / Giuseppe Giacosa
Performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Appears Courtesy of Extreme Production Music USA
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User Reviews

 
What the hell just happened?
27 January 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I literally have no idea how to rate this movie. It comes in two halves, and I quite liked both of them, but the two halves belong to completely different films. Have you ever been driving down a quiet country road near your house, taken a left turn and suddenly found yourself in Helmand Province, Afghanistan? That's what this movie is like - there's a tonal shift around the halfway mark that's so jarring, so out of place with what's gone before, that it left me utterly dumbfounded, staring at the screen, saying over and over 'That didn't really happen, did it?'

If I've got trouble with it, I can only take pity on the people who had to market this movie. It's a pretty light comedy for the first half - all wacky families, odd-but-cute kid taking his first steps towards manhood, that sort of thing, and it's all very well done. And at the centre of it all is Donald Sutherland, never better in the role of a patriarch who has made scads of money, but lost out in many other ways. It's light and frothy and amusing and - then. Then the event happens, and everything turns VERY dark indeed. The second half plays more like a socially conscious melodrama, with teenage pregnancy, class division and... other issues. It's good too, for what it is, but that seismic shift in the middle of the film makes it all pretty hard to stomach.

So do I recommend this movie or not? Hell, I don't know. Both its parts are very good, but they add up to a baffling whole. I realize that that isn't necessarily very helpful, but you probably ought to be warned that this has been marketed as a comedy, and an enjoyable coming of age movie. That's true, but only up until the halfway mark...


18 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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