Skipped Parts
dir Tamra Davis; scr Tim Sandlin
with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bug Hall, Mischa Barton, Peggy Lipton, Brad Renfro, Michael Greyeyes, Alison Pill, Angela Featherstone, Drew Barrymore, R Lee Ermey, Gerald Lenton-Young, Dylan Scott
release St Louis Film Fest Nov.00
Trimark 00/US 2 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
Skipped Parts features Tamra Davis regular Drew Barrymore as a dream-fantasy girl
This unusually frank and honest film is based on Sandlin's novel, which vows not to skip the parts most coming-of-age stories gloss over. As such it's an entertaining, intriguing film, even if all the elements don't come together perfectly.

When Caspar Callahan (Ermey) decides to run for North Carolina governor in 1963, his wild daughter Lydia (Leigh) and her illigitimate 13-year-old son Sam (Hall) are sent to a cabin in Wyoming, far from the media's glare. But mother and son spark all kinds of trouble in their new home as they simply don't follow by the rules of "civilised" society--most notably in their out-there attitudes to sex.

With a terrifically quirky sense of humour and some suberb performances from its young cast, the film nevertheless struggles to bear the weight of another overly mannered performance from Leigh. You simply can't take her seriously for a minute--she's all quirks and glances and nothing like a real human being. Meanwhile, the tender romance/friendship between Hall and Barton is authentically awkward and touching. And Davis creates a nice sense of period and setting throughout. There are some excellent things going on in this film, and important points to make about relationships, society and growing up. But some weak plotting and Leigh's artificial presence leave us feeling a bit left out at the end.

[adult themes, language] 9.Nov.00

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall