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I rented this film mainly because I absolutely love both Sigourney Weaver and Bebe Neuwirth but I had low expectations, thinking it was probably going to be another "The Graduate" knockoff with the sort of pretentious deadness of "Rushmore."
Instead I was pleasantly surprised: while "Tadpole" does make a couple of self-conscious and coy allusions to "The Graduate" (one of my all-time favorites that I've seen dozens of times) it definitely has its own unique style and flavor. Aaron Stanford is no Dustin Hoffman but is more than up to the role, portraying the super-bright, gawky teenager very adroitly. Weaver and Neuwirth put in excellent performances as is their norm, Neuwirth especially packs an ungodly amount of devastating sexual magnetism in every scene, with every glance and gesture and word---ay yi yi, I kept wanting to kick Stanford for not being elated to have HER fall into his lap!
The other really side-splitting supplier of comic relief here is John Ritter, who plays the brainy but clueless college professor with delightful aplomb...I didn't even realize he was John Ritter until the credits!
All in all this is a light film but utterly delightful, it's too bad it's not at least an extra 30 minutes longer.
Some reviewers have complained about the digital camera picture often being washed out but I found it perfectly fine, my only objection was a bit of excessive camera movement during the first 15 minutes of the movie. Otherwise everything comes together marvelously: the strong script and cast, score, camera work, film editing, etc. For the 2 weeks of filming and shoestring $150,000 budget they really put together a very high quality piece of work. How refreshing to see a film that dares to do whatever the hell it wants however it wants, without boring the audience to tears!
The problem I had with this movie was that it reminded me too much of the horrid <b>Igby Goes Down</b>. If you liked that movie, don't mind me, but the flaws of that movie carries over (if in a lesser extent) to this movie. You got the "oh-so-smart" kid being oh-so-charming and isn't he so precious. You got the clueless wealthy adults that are having a wonderful time of it. You got New York and the fact that this kid can go anywhere in New York that he wants. You got a lot of angst over really nothing at all.
It's puerile and it's annoying. If you want something about a rich too-smart-for-his-own-good kid wandering in New York, just read <b>The Catcher in the Rye</b> again. These movies try to invoke that sensibility but as everyone knows - there's no way you can adapt The Catcher in the Rye to screen. I suppose I should give it points for trying, but I really didn't like this movie.
John Ritter is effective as the oblivious father; I didn't even recognize him behind the beard. I was never a big John Ritter fan, but here he is quite effective. Sigourney Weaver is beautiful and sexy as the stepmother (she should be the poster child for "aging gracefully"!). Bebe Neuwirth is hysterical and wonderful as Diane, the older woman who introduces Oscar to the joys of sex. The scene in the restaurant, where Oscar meets some of Diane's friends, is priceless, and all her scenes with Aaron Stanford are delightful.
I found the film to be upbeat, fun, funny, and an enjoyable portrait of the challenges of growing up and learning about sex.
The reason I am only giving it 3 stars is because I feel it never really "moved" me. After watching it, I felt as though I had watched a good movie, but nothing about it is really original or mind blowing. It's just a small quirky movie, and at only 77 minutes I was disappointed with the abrumpt ending.
Having said that, Tadpole is certainly worth seeing and is 100 times better than most of the "Blockbusters" that go on to gross hundreds of millions.
I also found his interactions with his father unreal - and I'm the daughter of an academic, so I know how academics are. But if I lived in NYC (or anywhere else, really) and my 15-year-old son disappeared into the night, never came home, and didn't call as to his whereabouts, you can bet I wouldn't be all nonchalant about it in the morning. Oscar's obvious disrespect towards his dad really bugged me - he fancied himself as the great sophisticate, but he was just a whiny spoiled brat underneath the French trappings. Just once I would've liked to see a character put him in his place, like during the excruciating dinner at the French restaurant, and no one raised an eyebrow at Diane's announcement that "Oscar and I are lovers." (Father's reaction: "Well, Oscar is an adult now...." Aren't we all incredibly enlightened and civilized!) Hello? Parent much?
Other (very small) gripe: Sigourney Weaver was 53 when this movie was made, not 40. I love her and think she looks great, but I couldn't help but be distracted by "Isn't Sigourney Weaver closer to 50?!"
The best thing in this movie was Bebe Neuwith...but she couldn't save Tadpole for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bebe Neuwirth has the most fantastic, creamy, white skin.
She is so gorgeous in this film, she practically glows! Read more
I got this movie almost a week after I thought I would get it, at least I got it days before the last day expected. Read morePublished on October 17, 2013 by Ciara Berry
I highly recommend this movie. John Ritter and Sigourney Weaver were excellent.great comedy film.it's a shame you can't find it on Netflix.Published on January 25, 2013 by keithkimzey66
I watched this movie once, by chance, because I was interested in seeing John Ritter in a movie. I found it to be surprisingly full of life, despite a slow-pace and average story. Read morePublished on October 24, 2012 by Daddy
I enjoyed this little movie, which the director refers to as a "novella." It's the story of a 15-year-old ably acted by Aaron Stanford, but you wouldn't know it from the credits... Read morePublished on October 30, 2011 by maltixx
I make it short as usual.
Got that movie coz of Sigourney Weaver as I usually like her movies. Read more
I really don't believe Tadpole is a comedy, unless there's a subtle dark or serious element of humor underneath the entire plot. Read morePublished on July 18, 2011 by Bryan
There is something about `Tadpole' that is so nerdy charming I can't help but recall it with affectionate memories. Read morePublished on February 2, 2011 by Andrew Ellington
For me it was kind of sick with two 40 year old
women making over a dopey 14 year old.
They all deserve a good talking to about
their morals and manners? Read more
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