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(Review originally written at 1 November 2005)

Sorry folks but this movie was just plain bad! The story is incredibly over-dramatized and over-the-top sweet at times. For me this was a very annoying movie to watch.

Even though Sean Penn is good in his role his character is far from a believable one. The way his characters acts and time and says some things makes his character totally unbelievable and perhaps a bit over-the-top at times. Really a horrible portrayal and perhaps at times even offensive portrayal of a mentally disabled person. There also is some totally misplaced humor in the movie with Sean Penn's character mentally disabled friends, which I found to be totally unnecessary. Thankfully there also still are some good character portrayals in the movie by Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning, Dianne Wiest and Laura Dern.

The movie doesn't only over-dramatize it also wants to be overly artistic at times. The camera-positions and style of editing are at times completely pointless. The camera-work in general is also too intense for a movie like this one. The intense camera-work by Elliot Davis worked for a kind of movie like "Thirteen" but is completely out of place in a drama movie like this one. I still like his style of lighting for this movie though.

Another thing that annoyed me was the musical score by John Powell. The score was incredibly simple and had no beauty or what so ever in it. In fact it truly annoyed me at times and distracted from what was happening on the screen (not that much interesting or new was happening on it though).

The movie is way too bittersweet. The movie has some totally unbelievable and over-the-top sweet and moralistic moments in it. The movie its intentions were good but it simply tries too hard to be emotional and dramatic in almost every aspect. The ending was also totally lame and left an incredibly bad aftertaste and was completely unsatisfying. Why so many people fall for this annoying over-dramatized movie really puzzles me.

With currently a 7.2 rating, this movie is terribly overrated on IMDb.com.

4/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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