The Chumscrubber starts out with Troy, a normal teenager who supplies "feel good" pills to everyone in his high school (this way he spreads happiness all around). But when his friend Dean pays him a visit, Dean discovers Troy has hanged himself in his bedroom during one of his mother's pool parties. After the death, three local teens: Billy, Lee, and Crystal, want what's left of Troy's stash of pills and they know that Dean is the only one who knows where they are. But when Dean refuses to get the pills, the three teens kidnap Dean's little brother, until they realize they've kidnapped the wrong kid.Written by
Before Dean unlocks the door to Troy's apartment, there's a shot where you see Dean from inside Troy's apartment. In that shot, you can see the gap between the door and the door frame that the deadbolt is not locked. You can also see the thumbscrew on the door knob is in the typical unlocked position. But Troy gets a hidden key to unlock a door that's not locked. See more »
Having grown up in a 1960's suburb outside of Philadelphia with it's same-same split-levels and colonials, I can grasp the loneliness angle of a teen-angst film. Not as successful or lighthearted as Thumbsucker or honered as the silly and "way" overrated American Beauty, The Chumscrubber has charm. Teens are lonely. They do tend to rebel like James Dean. Their parents work hard and acquire materialistic items such as homes, patio pools, and furniture, a stage of their life that emphasizes materialism and social status. Suburbanites play hard and work hard, but teenager offspring are neither adults nor children. The Chumscrubber world wheels in turn, humor and darkness.
Jamie Bell somehow subdues his Scottish accent and plays the American teen with solemn seriousness. Maybe that's a fault in his portrayal, but after all, there is not much fun in popping pills and having a best friend hang himself. The parents, the kids, they seem to be whirling in separate orbits, coming close as the moon is large in a winter sky, but then the luminous returns to a distant trajectory. They talk to each other, or rather past each other. The humorous scenes where the teens tell parents they are kidnapping a little boy so they can buy drugs compel laughs because the parents think the kids are attempting precocious satire. The mother planning a wedding is oblivious. She is the prototype suburban striver. Where's your kid? Oh, he's in his room, er.. out with friends on a school project. "It's for school" is teen code for "perfectly innocent." That's a laugh.
In the end, the world of white, middle to upper-class citizen is almost too easy to satire, but what's the alternative, a Stalinist State? Think about it.
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