Lost and Delirious (review)

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Ah, tragedy. To be young, rich, and ignored by your parents and other adults sounds like heaven, but as we know from too many films, it’s hell. Here it’s the self-proclaimed Lost Girls of a posh girls’ private boarding school, where Mary “Mouse” Bradford (Mischa Barton: The Sixth Sense) is exiled by her father and new stepmother. Mouse bonds with her new roomies, Tori (Jessica Parè) and Paulie (Piper Perabo: Coyote Ugly), because mommy doesn’t love any of them. In the near absence of adult supervision or attention — the school apparently employs only two teachers (one of whom doubles as the headmistress), a soccer coach, and a wise Yoda-like gardener (Graham Greene: The Green Mile) — Tori and Paulie have turned to each other in a passionate lesbian love affair, with naive, shy Mouse a bit of a third wheel. Teenage emotions run high, but Lost and Delirious — an adaptation of Susan Swan’s novel The Wives of Bath — never touches a core of real feeling, instead becoming monumentally silly as Paulie descends into obvious metaphor (nursing an injured raptor back to health so it can fly away, birdie, and be free… just as Paulie yearns for herself). Director Léa Pool coaches her able young cast into a Dead Poets Society of Shakespeare monologues and reaches desperately for Romeo-and-Juliet tragedy, but in the end it’s mostly a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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