18 December, 2009

Crime and Punishment in Suburbia

Crime and Punishment in Suburbia is one of those movies about a cheerleader who has to decide if she wants to date a football player or an edgy loner. This particular edgy loner distinguishes himself by being played by Vincent Kartheiser from Mad Men, who is my favorite actor and in my opinion the most attractive person who ever lived. The girl is really cute too, and I say this as someone who never thinks girls in movies are attractive. She's also mean, which is hot.

Unfortunately, this movie isn't content to just be an archetypical high school romance. It tries to be a modern update of the book Crime and Punishment. So, the girl's stepfather rapes her and she murders him with the help of her football player boyfriend, and then she has to deal with the guilt when her mom is accused of the crime. The problem is that whoever wrote the movie is way more into the romance storyline than they are into the rape and murder storyline, and it shows. The rape and murder just seems like it's a device to get the girl to fall in love with Vincent Kartheiser, which is sort of offensive.

Also Vincent Kartheiser basically acts like a serial killer, masturbating to pictures he surreptitiously took of the girl, giving himself tattoos in his room, and inexplicably peeling carrots for hours at a time. He's also supposed to be super moral and hopeful and preternaturally wise--which is actually sort of endearing in its incongruity, but what's the point of creating such a charmingly nonsensical character if you're going to toss him aside for long stretches of Rape Murder Guilt Plot? Come on!

A good way to watch this movie is on mute with strategically placed fast-forwarding:

Dear filmmaker, good job hiring actors who are attractive but in the future you could let the audience enjoy that, maybe?

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