Never judge a book by its cover (this goes for this movie poster, the title, and the film’s characters, too). This film is done very well, with great acting, and a killer soundtrack.
Roseanne Skolnick (Monica Keena) is a precocious teen, who dates the popular football player Jimmy (James DeBello), and seems like everything in her life is just going right. Her home life is a trainwreck. Her stepfather Fred (Michael Ironside) is an angry alcoholic, and her mom’s just about had enough. Her mother (Ellen Barkin) spends more and more time away from home, often hanging with her best friend. One night, Roseanne’s mother and her friend meet a charming bartender named Chris (Jeffrey Wright), and Roseanne’s mother instantly vibes with him.
While all of this is happening, there’s Vincent (Vincent Kartheiser), the mysterious goth kid, who constantly photographs his fellow students, and refuses to do the pledge of allegiance. He’s always making himself subject to embarrassing moments in school, and he doesn’t seem to care much. Vincent’s a bit obsessed with Roseanne, but she wants nothing to do with him. Roseanne then becomes the center of gossip in school, because of her mother’s affair with a “black pimp”.
Things get much worse for Roseanne at home, shortly after her mother leaves Roseanne to live alone with her stepfather. Roseanne tries to figure out the best way out of a horrible situation…. and may make everything worse, with whatever she decides.
Without spoiling anything for you… you should give this film a shot. It’s insanely uncomfortable at times, and hilariously pathetic and heartbreaking at others. Thankfully, several characters (Jimmy and Vincent, mostly) do bring a bit of comic relief to a pretty dark and hopeless film. It’s aimed at the teen market, but it’s done very well, so it’s anything but forgettable.
The soundtrack is killer, too (Sleater-Kinney, Depeche Mode, Modest Mouse, Guided by Voices, Pixies, Far covering the Pixies, Moby’s “Hymn”, etc). A very enjoyable film. Somewhat loosely based on the classic Dostoevsky novel Crime & Punishment.