Aaron's Review of Towelhead
A couple powerful scenes and a couple fantastic performances can sometimes elevate a movie. Not this time. It isn't awful, but most of the characters actions were just too hard for me to accept as logical.
Have you ever seen a film where the characters seem to be doing things not because it's a natural character trait, but because it's something the script requires? That's what this was like. The tone was wildly all over the place, it contained nary a single believable moment, and it was as melodramatic as any episode of 7th Heaven.
It's sole saving grace was a breathtaking, truly brave (and I hate using that word in relation to actors) performance from the young girl. Her lines were the only ones indebted with any real soul, thus making her the only realistic thing in the whole damn picture.
If the movie would have just been about her sexual awakening and coming-of-age as a shy young mixed-race girl, this could have been a masterpiece...those scenes in the movie were easily the best part. Or shit, even if they would have handled all that melodrama with a more even-hand, punching up the script to make us feel like we're watching PEOPLE, not a cast.
I can't believe this is the same guy who wrote "American Beauty". While that was also pretty ridiculous in it's small-time suburbia depiction, it also felt 100 times more genuine. Chalk that up to somebody else directing his script, I suppose.