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gary winick's TADPOLE

After seeing Gary Winick's Sam the Man at Resfest in 2000, his Tadpole kept nagging me to see it when I started hearing about it last year. I am, however, chronologically spastic with my movie choices, so i just got around to watching it tonight (thanks, Tivo!).

Anyway, Sam the Man was a funny urban romantic comedy that was very well shot. Tadpole was very much like that, but with much more heart (or liver) to it. Oscar, the part-French, 15 year old progranist quotes voltaire, complains that girls at his school have not lived enough for him and is generally seen as ahead of his time. Oh, and he is madly in love with his stepmother, Eve, but ends up having drunken sex with her best friend, Diane. A young girl remarks to him early in the movie that he is "a 40 year old trapped in a 15 year old's body." That is enough about the plot.

The story is loaded with humor, none of it coming from John Ritter. Ever since the "Ted" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I have yearned to see more of John Ritter. Just kidding. That episode was horrible, but he is a great asset to this movie. Sigourney Weaver as Eve and Bebe Neuwirth as Diane are both great, as is the young Aaron Stanford. There is charm and wit to spare in this movie, despite the ending being fairly predictable as it nears.

Winick's indigent (independent digital entertainment) production company has really helped spur on more and more interest in digital filmmaking (not the george lucas kind). Blah blah blah. Digital filmmaking is here to stay. End of story. The film has the feel of 16mm film, but more importantly a solid look that fits well with the story.

Also, indigent is releasing the directorial debut from the writer of What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, called Pieces Of April sometime soon. Not sure when soon is, but it should be interesting.