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Christina Ricci known for her bold choices in her career and for her ability as an actress plays the main character Carolyn- A sorority sister dating a very popular and "studly" tennis star at a major college in southern california. What more could a girl ask for? What could be more perfect? To Carolyn this was perfection, outside of her competition with a neighboring sorority, life couldn't get any better.
All of this is portrayed in the movie with tongue and cheek glee (think Brady Bunch mixed with 90210). Carolyn's life is turned upside down when she meets up with Pumpkin, a mentally challenged young man who is emmidiatly smitten with her. Carolyn resents her own feelings towards him but eventually she realizes they are "soul mates".
The rest of the movie is about these two very different people finding love with eachother- or so it seems. This is the cleaver part- the story is a twist on all of those sappy "our-love-will-heal-the-world" Cinderella type stories. The director leads the viewer up to the very end dabbing cliches here and there to keep the viewer assuming, but then, subtly there is a twist- and then the end.
The movie is a success on many levels- and for me it did what I always look for art to do- entertain and provoke. See for yourself...
I can tell you three things about this film: 1. The closer you look and analyse it, the funnier and more meaningful it becomes 2. It's impossible to pidgeonhole or put in a box and that's all critics do these days and so it is probably one of the most underrated films in a long time 3. Appreciation and a following for this film will grow through the years as people see it as a daring and provocative piece of art and not a missfired attempt at satire.
I've seen Pumpkin three times and I'm betting that this film will become a classic and will reappear at your local retro theater in years to come.
The reason why I mention these two Directors in my title is because this film is lush with color and beautiful music, I specially liked the Belle & Sebastion tune, and is quite purposely melodramatic to an absurd degree(remember the car crash sequence that Roger Ebert hated so much?).
If you watch carefully Pumpkin and Caroline actually spend very little time together. Caroline is obviously projecting onto Pumpkin her desires because he is a blank slate to her. The revealing scene is at the end of the film when she asks him if he was speaking literally or metaphorically about something and he answers "what?".
Cliche's abound in this film, the overprotective mother, the jock who becomes a better man after losing the use of his legs, the "blond" sorority, the fight at the dance(is that music from Rebel Without A Cause?). The symbolism is so in your face, the rats, the rotting fruit covered with flies, the dead bird. Christina Ricci was very wise to get this future cult film under her belt before moving on to adult fare.
The only reason I can't give this film 5 stars is because ultimately it has no message. Love conquers all is a childish concept and I can't believe that women will be flocking to the special olympics looking for dates after seeing this film. Just enjoy the film for what it is; a tasty piece of ear and eye candy.
And no, a lot of people aren't going to like this movie. If you liked "But I'm a Cheerleader", you'll probably love it. I did. The characters are drawn in much the same way: earnest, but completely lunatic.
The subject matter is also, like 're-orienting' queerfolk, generally considered not appropriate comedy material, and as such, there are some folks who will hate this movie no matter how the subject is approached, because there "just isn't anything funny about the mentally disabled". I thought it did a good job of staying between the sort of flat-out mean fun that "Something About Mary" made of disabled kids, and the smarmy "our poor wounded angels" attitude so many people adopt when portraying the mentally disabled. This movie treats their subjects like normal people - some of them are mean, some of them are nice, some of them are better than others.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It may have taken 14 years but the original version of the film has now been uploaded to Amazon. No missing scenes. Please enjoy the film in all its cinematic glory.Published 10 days ago by Tony R. Abrams
This digital version of Pumpkin is incomplete and missing important parts from the middle of the film. Hope Amazon fixes this!Published 14 days ago by LM
Very odd movie, but also very compelling. I am thinking of giving it to some of my online students as an extra credit writing assignment. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ashley English
This movie is fantastic and I haven't seen it in years. BUT, I'm really angry that I spent money to rent (I almost bought it) for a movie that left out important scenes. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kat
In a world where many of us are stuck in our own bubble, Pumpkin sheds light on the troubles of stereotyping, classicist attitudes, and the stark reality of a love existing beyond... Read morePublished 12 months ago by kationary
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