Ash Christian, Anne Clements, Barry Shy (executive) for Cranium Entertainment, Idiot Savant Pictures
directed by Inon Shampanier
starring Lili Taylor, Stefania LaVie Owen, Peyton List, Ian Nelson, Max Casella, David Rasche, Tom Papa, Michael Cyril Creighton, Jennifer Cody, Deanna McKinney, Hunter Foster, Susannah Berryman, Natalie Shampanier, Lori Franzese, Fiona Horrigan, Henry Koperski, Tanya Thompson, Madeleine Ince, Ash Christian, Jack E. Jones, Patrick Klein, Miguel Rodriguez, Quinn Hemphill, Mike Kowal, Enid Ryen, Melanie Brook
written by Natalie Shampanier, Inon Shampanier, music by Ariel Blumenthal
Available on DVD !
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Two years ago, Melanie (Stefania LaVie Owen) has lost her dad, which
has been a crushing loss to her, but she's 17 now and ready to move on -
also literally, as she's about to graduate from high school and plans to
study at USC, which is halfway cross the country. But then one day her
mother Dawn (Lili Taylor) claims their neighbour Brody is stalking them,
and is trying to enter the house through the roof. At first, Melanie
believes her mother - but when the police come and actually find evidence
to the contrary, Melanie's faith in her mum starts to crumble. Especially
since mum's claims get weirder and weirder, like that Brody has smuggled
bees into their house or gives her headaches using some electrical device.
Melanie has to come to terms with the fact that her mum's delusional, and
tries to get both their minds of things, by hooking her mum up with Howard
(Tom Papa), a guy she has found on a dating site, and hooking up herself
with fellow student Daniel (Ian Nelson) - but both doesn't go as planned
as Howard just can't handle Dawn's craziness, and Daniel proves to be an
alcoholic who can't keep his hands off other girls when drunk. Eventually,
Dawn chooses to move into her car to "keep Melanie safe", and
after she and Melanie have a fall-out, she even chooses to live under a
bridge, claiming it's the only place she's safe from Brody. But after some
time apart, Dawn shows up for Melanie's graduation ceremony - which goes
very well, until mum spots someone on the school's roof ...
very touching movie about (living with) mental illness that's quite so
effective because it doesn't try to hammer its message home with a
sledgehammer, instead goes the subtle approach and packs its subject
matter into an engaging story that also has touches of romance,
coming-of-age story, and even traces of comedy. And a very solid cast
really bring their characters to life and make them relatable, while a
suitably unexcited directorial effort gives them and the story the
necessary air to breathe. And what's perhaps most important, despite the
film's very serious topic it stays entertaining throughout thanks to a
certain lightness in the script as well as a good structure and a brisk
enough narrative pace, all of which makes this a pretty good watch.