Beautiful, sophisticated women are all over Oscar Grubman. He is sensitive and compassionate, speaks French fluently, is passionate about Voltaire, and thinks the feature that tells the most about a woman is her hands. On the train home from Chauncey Academy for the Thanksgiving weekend, Oscar confides in his best friend that he has plans for this vacation--he will win the heart of his true love. But there is one major problem--Oscar's true love is his stepmother Eve. Oscar is certain that he could be a better mate to Eve than his work-obsessed father. He fails to win Eve's heart and is consequently dejected. Oscar's path to his true love is further crossed by Diane, Eve's best friend who, one night while wearing Eve's borrowed perfumed scarf, offers him temporary comfort in an unconventional tryst. For Diane, Oscar fills a void in her life. For Oscar, Diane is somewhat of a distraction, as his continued pursuit of Eve leads to an unexpected resolution.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
TADPOLE (2002) ** Sigourney Weaver, Aaron Stanford, Bebe Neuwirth, John Ritter, Robert Iler, Kate Mara, Adam LeFevre, Peter Appel, Alicia Van Couvering, Hope Chernov, Debbon Ayer, Ron Rifkin. Indie hit at Sundance doesn't always mean surefire instant classic as proven in this precious mix of `The Catcher in the Rye' meets `Rushmore' via `The Graduate': snob prep schooler Stanford (suggesting Topher Grace's lethargic brother) returns to his Upper West Side environs for Thanksgiving break to announce his long-hidden secret to his step mother (Weaver): he loves her. Along the way instead he's detoured into a troubling one-nighter with her best friend (Neuwirth, the true saving grace of this overrated film) who proves to be a problem with his desire to come clean about his notions of what love is. Weaver's talent is muted here but Ritter provides some much needed comic relief in one of cinema's best 'choke takes' ever seen. The biggest setback of this otherwise tedious debut by director Gary Winick (who collaborated with his writers Niels Mueller and Heather McGowan) is its anti-hero being such a one-note faux intellectual spouting quotes form Voltaire and pretending not to like girls his age (notably the fetching Mara) that one wants to ring his neck from frustration of his dreadful putting on airs. Why anyone would find him attractive is beyond me since he is a total turn off socially; speaking French only hastens the matter! What could've been a slice of a John Updike short story in its approach fails in its myopic assumption of creating a cult hero like Benjamin Braddock or Holden Caulfield.
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