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Pumpkin (2002)

A sorority girl finds her life falling apart after she develops romantic feelings for a mentally-challenged man.
3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christina Ricci ... Carolyn McDuffy
Hank Harris ... Pumpkin Romanoff
Brenda Blethyn ... Judy Romanoff
Dominique Swain ... Jeanine Kryszinsky
Marisa Coughlan ... Julie Thurber
Sam Ball ... Kent Woodlands
Harry Lennix ... Robert Meary (Poetry teacher)
Nina Foch ... Betsy Collander
Caroline Aaron ... Claudia Prinsinger
Lisa Banes ... Chippy McDuffy
Julio Oscar Mechoso ... Dr. Frederico Cruz
Phil Reeves ... Burt Wohlfert
Marisa Petroro ... Courtney Burke (as Marisa Parker)
Tait Smith Tait Smith ... Hansie Prinsinger
Michael Bacall ... Casey Whitner


Perky, perfect Carolyn and her Alpha Omega Pi sisters plan to win Sorority of the Year by impressing the Greek Council with a killer charity: coaching mentally challenged athletes for the regional Challenged Games. When Carolyn's assigned to coach Pumpkin she's terrified at first, but soon sees in him something she's never seen before: a gentle humanity and honest clarity that touches her soul. To the horror of her friends and Pumpkin's overprotective mother, Carolyn falls in love, becoming an outcast in the process. As Carolyn's "perfect life" falls apart, Pumpkin teaches her that perfect isn't always perfect after all. Written by Press kit

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A comedy for the romantically challenged.


Comedy | Drama | Romance | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

12 March 2004 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Pumpkin See more »

Filming Locations:

Azusa, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,514, 30 June 2002

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The sorority Alpha Omega Pi is actually based on UC Berkeley's Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. The writer Adam Larson Broder lived next door to their house when he went to college there. See more »


When Caroline runs to fetch Pumpkin from the beach, her hair is sticking up in the air from the wind, then when she kneels down next to Pumpkin, her hair is perfect again. See more »


Carolyn McDuffy: Some people have this mystery about them that you can't get out of your head. Do you know what I mean?
Chippy McDuffy: No dear, sounds terrible... is this person a boy?
Carolyn McDuffy: But it's not romantic or anything.
Chippy McDuffy: Well, I hope this mystery has nothing to do with this young man being from a different... culture; Chinese, Persian, African, or I mean, most mysterious, Jewish?
See more »


References The Stepford Wives (1975) See more »


The Bees in the Trees
Written by Jonathan Abrams and Anthony Lacques
Performed by Jonny Corralitos
Courtesy of Shady Mountain Records
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User Reviews

BOMB out of 5
25 November 2002 | by casey_choas66See all my reviews

Finally in her career Christina Ricci has decided to take a different turn from her usual dark and depressing characters with Carolyn. Just to bad half way through this film you will be wishing she hadn't. Carolyn has it all, she is pretty, popular and has a boyfriend all the girls wish they had but after she is made help a disordered boy named Pumpkin in a desperate attempt to make her frat house the best her whole life is changed. But the change is not what you may expect. Instead of unfolding like you are lead to believe instead of making Carolyn see the light and be reborn into goodness by Pumpkins existence her life is flipped upside down and she is even driven as far as to commit suicide. The description on the back of the case referred to this film as a touching love story and a hysterical comedy, but I didn't not see either happen in the two hours this film ran. There is nothing remotely touching or even romantic about this film nor is there one laugh to be had from start to finish. This is because the film walks a very thin line between what is considered touching and what is considered downright mean. See this film is cruel and discriminatory and comes nothing close to laughs or tears. The simple fact is that the entire thing is done backwards. The things that are supposed to be amusing are placed within serious scenes that should have otherwise been moving but come off more as offensive because you are not sure if the scene is serious or not. The langue herein is totally inaproperate and actually made me feel rather uncomfortable with viewing this film. It seems like the script thinks that maybe it can make everyone see the point by having all the characters say the word "retard" over and over again. This brings me to my next analogy. What the hell was the point of this film? A girl with a happy way of living has her life almost totally ruined in an instant and not on thing that happens in this film makes any sense or is in the least bit believable. A film like this should be telling us to look beneath the surface and see people for their inner beauty because after all isn't it that inner beauty that we fall in love with for in the first place? This film almost seems like it is telling us to avoid helping the disabled because they are looked down on as humans. Is that the kind of message we want to be giving out in this day and age? There are only about five scenes in the entire film that deal with the feelings between Pumpkin and Carolyn, the rest is dedicated to stuck up people who don't seem to have a clue of what is going on around them. Sometimes when a film has a terrible story the acting can at least have a little bit of redeeming quality, not the case here. The acting in this film is dreadful, think what you would get if you crossed a lame soap opera with an after school special from the early 80's and you can probably get a good idea of what the acting is like. But the actors are only half the problem, the rest of the fault goes to the terrible script witch is so meaningless it feels like you are driving your car, full speed, down a one way street that ends with a brick wall. Not to mention all the characters are one dimensional and bland beyond belief. We have a leading lady who seems to be living a plastic existence, her mother who thinks the world revolves around her, a boyfriend who thinks he can survive on looks, an overbearing mother who won't let her disabled son grow up and a rude poetry teacher who serves no purpose here but to swear at his students and say rude things and the saddest part of it all is that it is this teacher who has the only meaningful lines in the film. This film also has one of the worst soundtracks I have heard in a long while, the music just drones on and ruins every scene it is in. In the end this film has nothing good or important to say and it has a total of two effective scene, both being mediocre at best. One when Carolyn returns to the beach after forgetting Pumpkin there and another when she sneaks into Pumpkin's room through his window after his mother forbids him from seeing her anymore. Other than that the film is a total waste and could be the worst of the year. Save your money and go see a film like Elephant Man which actually has some heart behind it because this seems like it is nothing more than someone's idea of a sick joke.

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