This film perplexed me. I really wanted to love this film. On the one hand, it starts out in a creative, indie fashion. The plot is veiled, it's got a quirky editing style, minimalist photography, and sparse sets. Somewhere about half way through the film, it turned into something different, maybe it's the losing her virginity hakneyed story, the simple melodramatic editing and film style, the plot that becomes too obvious. I'm not certain why I didn't like this film more. Mostly, it just didn't ring true enough, didn't set up the conflicts in a unique or believeable fashion, didn't keep a unique style going.
The real problem with the film, it's Mary Stuart Masterson's first film. She is a wonderful actress, but isn't the best director in the world. Some of the actors also make a lot of sense now - she relied heavily on the Dick Wolf Law And Order staff (she was Dr. Rebecca Hendrix on SVU for several years). My favorite transplant, Jesse L. Martin (Detective Ed Green on Law and Order), wasn't given anywhere near the opportunity to shine in this film.
Bruce Dern, such an awful actor that has played nothing but "Bruce Dern: B actor" for years, turns in an interesting decent performance as Easy Kimbruagh, the father. The two young stars of this film, Kristen Stewart and Aaron Stanford, were excellent. Kristen maintained her character perfectly throughout the film.
The film is about relationships. Georgia and Beagle on their innocent quest to have intercourse. There's a certain level of humanity in this quest, the film says, even people with dibilitating diseases can have normal desires and should be fulfilled. There's a relationship between Georgia's grandmother and Beagle's father. It's one that had gone for many years, and also say - old people can have a good time together. The most dysfunctional of the couples, Georgia's parents have a relationship with absolutely no intimacy. It's a strange commentary, they seem so normal and average. Even runaway older brother that left a girl after proposing to her, well he gets nothing. Even though he is supposed to be some kind of woman killer.
As my description tries to illustrate, it's hard to figure out what Mary Stuart was trying to say. Is the message, only the flawed can have intimate relations or be happy? Or was it just to put some kind of context around this young girl losing her virginity to the school janitor? There was a bit of pause around Georgia's age. She is in high school and is likely skirting that 18 year old area. So is that some other kind of point that Mary Stuart is trying to make.
Technically the film was spotty. Creative and interesting at the outset. Hackneyed standard melodrama by midpoint. It's a predictible film.