Spanking the Monkey (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

Spanking the Monkey (1994)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

David O. Russell wrote this black comedy about a teenage boy's Oedipal relationship with his mother.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Cast

Jeremy Davies
as Raymond Aibelli
Alberta Watson
as Susan Aibelli
Benjamin Hendrickson
as Tom Aibelli
Elizabeth Newitt
as Bus Woman
Liberty Jean
as 1st Motel Woman
Orth
as Curtis
Archer Martin
as 2nd Motel Woman
Neil Connie Wallace
as Walter Hooten
Lleana Stratton
as Fran Gibson
Jed Resnick
as Fran's Son
Jim Marcus
as Dr. Marcus
Richard Husson
as Dr. Peck
Ty-Ranne Grimstad
as Secretary
William Keeler
as Dean--Businessman
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Spanking the Monkey

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3)

A bitingly funny tale of frustrated sexuality.

Full Review… | April 9, 2007
eFilmCritic.com

David O. Russell's gleefully subversive family saga offers a twisted coming of age tale that begins realistically before pushing its characters over rhe edge into lunacy.

Full Review… | January 13, 2007
EmanuelLevy.Com

Plays as a bad middle-class suburban joke that hits the right note between satire and being a shocker.

Full Review… | December 10, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A very intriguing independent movie with stong performances.

October 10, 2005
ColeSmithey.com

Excellent art-house dark comedy with a strange, incestuous theme.

March 19, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

An outrageous, assured debut from a talented new director.

January 16, 2003
KFOR Channel 4 News

Audience Reviews for Spanking the Monkey

Unlike with a lot of people, incestuous relationships don't crawl under my skin and disgust me. That part of the movie was actually the only thing about it I found watchable. What I DIDN'T find tolerable was this abhorrently unstable protagonist and his self-centered personality. I got so tired of him and his whining during the second half of the movie that continuing to view it was a difficult endeavor. Seriously, Ray has problems, and I'm not even talking about his vibrant curiosity for having a relationship with his mother. Knowing drama queens in real life is bad enough. Watching them in a film doesn't help. There were just a lot of things about the film I thought could have gone a lot better. The first half of the story was fine. As soon as Ray started acting like a complete prick is when I was no longer interested in it. I love drama, but this character was just unlikeable in every aspect. Good to watch, if you can get over Ray's irritating whimpering.

Mel Thorn
Mel Thorn
½

"A gripping comedy about letting go." David O. Russell burst onto the scene with this challenging and controversial film about an introverted college student and the incestuous disaster of a summer that follows his freshman year.

REVIEW
There is something hypnotic about Spanking The Monkey. You watch Jeremy Davies as his summer goes straight downhill and he is stuck taking care of his manic depressive mother, and you are intrigued. That is if you have a good attention span and a tolerance for dark humor. Because this is ink-black humor at its smirkiest. So you are either in for an enjoyably bizarre ride of the demented fashion or you are about to be majorly turned off. In many ways, this is like The Graduate, except this indie devil wants to blow away the dated shock of having an affair with a married, older woman with an even more shocking and rather disturbing taboo. David O. Russell, who has a bizarre and neurotic look at family life (see his Flirting With Disaster, an even better film), gives us an interesting character study of a tormented college student who is virtually nailed to the ground by his dysfunctional parents. I can see why some people may hate this movie from its difficult subject matter, but I feel like I was sucked in this guy's life and that's what I love about movies that have the power to do that. Yet, as the film grew darker and sadder, with a bittersweet ending that felt like a high note of hope compared to the rest of the film, I was relieved when the ending credits came and I could return from the trance and go back to my decidedly happier lifestyle.

Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

Spanking The Monkey is probably one of the best Dark Comedies I have ever seen. Jeremy Davies has always been a good actor and has never put out a bad performance, even in Twister when he had four or five scenes, he is just a quirky and very talented actor. Great movie, really great acting, and a very interesting plot make Spanking The Monkey essential viewing for lovers of Independent Cinema.

Jason Reneau
Jason Reneau

Super Reviewer

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