Theres a heap of conflicting viewpoints when it comes to Towelhead, the latest film by Alan Ball (American Beauty, Six Feet Under). An adaptation of the novel by Alicia Erian, Balls most recent portal into suburban decay premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival and won acclaim from some folks for its unapologetic frankness (read: a 13-year-old Lebanese girl shaving her pubic hair, being called horrid racial slurs, and getting molested by her charismatic yet creepy vet neighbor). Meanwhile, others called that same frankness a turgid attempt at shock value that just comes off as exploitative (well, something like that). Wrote one such critic, TheReeler.coms S.T. VanAirsdale: Think of it like Todd Solondz remaking Crash in a cul-de-sac, but with twice the tampons and a quarter of the self-respect.
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So, do you want to see Towelhead yet? Well, here are some reasons why you might: Ball is continuing down the path he began with the Oscar-winning American Beauty, which was praised for the same kind of candid look at desperate people in middle America who do desperate things. Towelhead is also a coming-of-age film, so aside from the pedophilia and unflinching scenes of teenage masturbation, its supposed to be a funny and insightful romp about girls becoming women. Ehhh. And, uh ... it guy of the moment Aaron Eckhart costars. Cool? Okay! Masochists looking for a fix can drive on up to Sunrise Cinemas Gateway. Tickets cost nine dollars. For showtimes, call 954-763-7994, or visit www.sunrisecinemas.com.
Mon., Sept. 29, 2008