On January 18, 2003, police, alerted by a frantic 911 call from a distraught pair of teenage girls, arrived at the girls Toronto area town house to find their mother dead. It appeared the 44-year-old alcoholic, having slipped into a booze-and-pill stupor, drowned in her own bathwater. The death was ruled accidental by the authorities. In the months that followed, however, police were alerted to rumours and reports that the teenagers had been gossiping to friends about the accident. Police began piecing together rumours that suggested the teens might have had a hand in their mother's death. In fact, rather than an accident, the story that emerged portrayed the two teens as cold-blooded, premeditated killers.Written by
Two teenage girls (Abigail Breslin and Georgie Henley), frustrated and at their wit's end over their mother's (Mia Sorvino) alcoholism, concoct a plan to murder the matriarchal drunkard because.....teenagers.
To call this movie amateurish is an understatement, and about the closest thing to a compliment that I could ever hope to give to this film. There is no steady progression, and characters just leap to conclusions that no human being ever could. How a child jumps from sympathetic towards their mother to murderous in the time frame they did is insulting. The teenage airheads surrounding the leads do nothing more than justify the stupidity of the leads. Their indifference towards their friends' diabolical plans would be sickening, if they had even the shakiest grasp on the craft of acting.
And as if the supporting casts' acting abilities aren't bad enough, this movie actually manages to squeeze cringe-inducing performances out of the leads as well. Mia Sorvino is particularly painful to watch, as the only believable emotion she portrays is drunk. It's like watching your good friend fumble their way through a karaoke song while strongly intoxicated. The resulting effect is embarrassing and uncomfortable. Breslin and Henley are just as bad, with performances rife with tearless crying, no discernible moral compass (They are neither sympathetic, nor sociopathic as they zig-zag back and forth) and the exact same shortcomings as their supporting counterparts. James Russo stars as the mother's abusive Lawyer (This guy's a Lawyer?!?!?!) boyfriend, who makes sexual advances on Henley's character. Maybe with a better director, this character could have been menacing. But with a script as hackneyed as this, he comes off as too buffoonish to be truly intimidating. Any other roles are played like stock characters from a lifetime movie of the week.
Production-wise, the movie also suffers from stilted, unimpressive cinematography and some truly horrendous editing. An opening sequence shows the girls in a flashback as toddlers, spending a day at the beach with their mother superimposed over (What I would assume is) the beach in current times. The effects used to make this sequence look like something you would use in one of those booths at the mall that allow you to make your own music video.
The experience of watching this "film" is a grating and jarring one. The film was shot in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. As I'm sure you can tell by the title of this review, I'm seriously considering relocating.
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