The Quiet (review)
If there’s anything quiet about this film — which is distressingly nonchalant about some straight-up distressing things — it’s the quiet desperation rolling off it: teen sorta-queen Elisha Cuthbert (House of Wax and Kiefer Sutherland’s daughter on 24) really, really wants you to take her seriously. Which is fine — 2004’s The Girl Next Door proved she has genuine talent and abundant charm, and yet Hollywood doesn’t know what to do with her uncommon combination of cherubic prettiness and prickly confidence. But she picked a poor film to get behind as star and producer: it mistakes luridness for tragedy and monotony for sophistication. Cuthbert’s routine as a perky high school cheerleader with a big secret gets shattered by the arrival of her parents’ goddaughter (Camilla Belle), who’s deaf and mute and has a big secret of her own. The usually appealing Edie Falco (Judy Berlin) and Martin Donovan (The Sentinel), as Cuthbert’s parents, sleepwalk through parts that seem like parodies of characters they made their names with, but the real crime of Jamie Babbit’s (But I’m a Cheerleader) underplayed yet outlandish domestic nightmare is that it believes it is stylish and complex but is only a parody of itself.
(Technorati tags: Quiet, Elisha Cultbert, Edie Falco, Martin Donovan)