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Tadpole (2002)

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Gary Winick

A clever tale of a young man infatuated with an older woman, featuring a brilliant comic performance by the wonderful Bebe Neuwirth. Tadpole is the childhood nickname of Oscar (Aaron Stanford), a precocious 15-year-old who disdains girls his own age … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Director: Gary Winick
1 review about Tadpole (2002)

Charming and Out of the Ordinary

  • Jun 2, 2003
Rating:
+3
Oscar is a young man with a problem. Mature beyond his fifteen years, he's enthralled with his stepmother Eve (subtlety played by Sigourney Weaver). He dreams of long philosophical talks and more with her, while rejecting the more appropriate options of the girls his own age. While his obsession goes unnoticed by his father (John Ritter) and Eve, his latent charms do attract the attention of Sigourney's best friend (the ever-so-sultry Bebe Newirth), who is more than happy to seduce and exploit the young innocent.

If you haven't spotted the conundrum behind all of this, let me spell it out more distinctly. How can a responsible adult (a classification that probably excludes me) enjoy a movie built on the premise of a forty year old seducing a fifteen year old? If the adult were a man and the teenager was female, there would have been a ton of protests about the exploitation and lack of consequences. It's a reverse Lolita. But despite that critical flaw, Tadpole is an extremely literate movie. The dialogue could have been written by Noel Coward, the cast is polished and the pacing is near-perfect.

In one hilarious scene, Oscar is about to exit Bebe's apartment after their overnight encounter. But he encounters her boyfriend who immediately assumes that Oscar is one of her chiropractic patients. Remarks like "doesn't she just turn you inside/out?" are delivered with therapeutic concern but received as being sexual inquisition, resulting in one very confused teenager, until he realizes that the friend is completely unaware of what had transpired over the last few hours.

I can't help but wonder if the subject matter caused one or two scenes to be left on the cutting room floor, as the movie is incredibly short by today's standards. But if that is the case, it was a justifiable decision as Tadpole overcomes some substantial moral concerns to deliver a charming story.

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