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Smile Pretty (2009)

R  |   |  Drama  |  11 August 2009 (USA)
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 281 users  
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Nastalia is too young to have experienced many things in life, but as an abused child she has already experienced the darkest side of it. Now a young teen she takes it upon herself to ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
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Pete Chekvala ...
Matt
Alexander Knezevich ...
Peter
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Samantha
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Mike
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Danielle
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Principal
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Landlord
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Paul
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Mrs Mansfield
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Maitre D'Hotel (as Vic Harris)
Jansen Nichols ...
Asian Boy
Riley Hayes ...
Fellatee
Mason Hayes ...
School Snitch
Henry The Dog ...
Henry
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Storyline

Nastalia is too young to have experienced many things in life, but as an abused child she has already experienced the darkest side of it. Now a young teen she takes it upon herself to change her life for the better, but the torment that is so interlaced with her childhood will haunt her every step of the way. Written by Dorian, Inc.

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child pornography | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and abuse involving minors, language including graphic dialogue and some nudity

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11 August 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Pretty brave if nothing else
23 October 2012 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

This is kind of an interesting modern-day film about child sexual abuse that manages to make a couple rather "politically incorrect" points that most films would have avoided in this play-it-safe cinematic age. The first is the basic truism that many sexual predators themselves were sexually abused as children. The character "Matt" here falls into this category--he is a disturbing, but not entirely unsympathetic character. The second is that abuse victims, especially teenage abuse victims, are not always sympathetic and innocent, and may at times even be complicit in their own abuse. The character "Nasty" certainly falls into this category. She has been abused and exploited by her adopted father, but in her relationship with "Matt" it is SHE who is the sexual aggressor (just like "Lolita" in the famous Nabokov novel). Not that this movies excuses child sexual abuse in any way, but it adds a few shades of gray that serve to make it a little more realistic than your usual film on this type of subject.

Perhaps, the most interesting point though is also the one that is the most mishandled--the idea that the most ardent moral crusaders out there, the ones who want to hang, castrate, and burn all the dirty pedophiles, might perhaps be over-compensating for their OWN repressed attraction to adolescents. They're not unlike the repressed people who can't deal with their own homosexuality and react by being virulently homophobic (I'm NOT trying to equate pedophilia and and homosexuality, but there is a kind of a "pedophile-phobia" in America these days where some people lack any kind of rationality on the subject and are just overly hate-filled and paranoid). A similar point was made--much better--in the Kevin Bacon film "The Woodsman".

Of course, one doesn't exactly have to be a pedophile to be attracted to 19-year-old Scout-Taylor Compton here, and that's kind of a problem with this movie. Compton does do a very good acting job, but she doesn't look much like a fourteen-year-old, which is especially apparent in one awkward scene where she accuses an older male character of being attracted to her himself--well, obviously! This would have been more believable with a younger-looking actress (albeit it probably would have been a lot harder to watch too), but while it is not entirely successful as movie, it does manage to provide a lot of food for thought on its disturbing subject matter. It'a pretty brave film if nothing else.


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