Teethlisten to the podcast


Year: 2007

Writer: Mitchell Lichtenstein

Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein

Budget: ?

Gross: $344 655 (as of May 4th, 2008)

if you listened to last weeks podcast you would have heard me mention the movie Teeth.  during the 'upcoming DVD' segment of the show i mentioned that a movie called Teeth was coming out this week.  i had never heard of it and i actually went to amazon and read a bit of the description on air in my quest to find out something about the film (something about the poster/box cover intrigued me.  well i read a couple sentences and then talked about how it actually sounded good and that i was gonna watch it this week when it came out.  well, that is exactly what i did, and yup, it was quite good.

to tell you what the film is about i'll just quote from the amazon description:

  A coming-of-age tale with a twist, Teeth takes a novel approach towards teen sexual angst. Sunny blonde Dawn (Jess Weixler, a Meryl Streep in the making) promotes abstinence at her high school. Her mother (Vivienne Benesch) is terminally ill, her half-brother (Nip/Tuck's John Hensley) is a tattooed sociopath, and her stepfather (Lenny von Dohlen) does what he can to keep the household together. When Dawn meets doe-eyed transfer student Tobey (Hale Appleman), her celibacy vow is put to the test.

if you read the full synopsis it does give away the 'big twist', although it is something that shows up pretty early in the film so knowing it doesn't ruin the movie watching experience in any way. however, i always like to allow for as clean a film going experience as possible so if some of you don't know what her deal is then try to keep it that way.

i also bring this up, because when the reveal was made i was nicely shocked, but then also wondered where they would go from there.  i mean, it seemed like it had the potential to be a one 'gag' movie to use a term more appropriate of a comedy.  however, i was very happy to see the story develop and use her 'gift/curse' to its full potential both literally and metaphorically.

this was litchensteins first film and it got him nominated for a grand jury prize at the sundance film festival.  and deservedly so.  the film creates this fun happy suburban overtones with its look and music that is in contrast with the horror undertones that emerge at times.  i got a todd solondz feel from it (Welcome To The Dollhouse, Happiness) with the surface hiding the real 'horror' underneath.

the film also got weixler a special jury prize at sundance 'for a special and jaw-dropping performance'. 

i was hoping to make some kind of 'sink your teeth into it' reference in this discussion, but after having seen the film it has taken on a whole other meaning that i would rather not think about too much as it is quite a painful thought.  however, you should see this film.