TADPOLE

A Tad Droll

Content -3
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: July 19, 2002

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Aaron
Stanford, John Ritter, Bebe
Neuwirth

Genre: Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 75 minutes

Distributor: Miramax Films/Buena Vista
(Disney/Touchstone)

Director: Gary Winick

Executive Producer: Jonathan Sehring, Caroline
Kaplan and John Sloss

Producer: Gary Winick, Alexis Alexanian
and Dolly Hall

Writer: Heather McGowan and Niels
Mueller

Address Comments To:

Bob and Harvey Weinstein
Co-Chairmen
Miramax Films
375 Greenwich Street
New York, NY 10013
Phone: (323) 822-4100 & (212) 941-3800
Fax: (212) 941-3846
Website: www.miramax.com

Content:

(HH, RoRo, B, L, SS, A, D, MMM) Humanist worldview with continual nods to humanist philosophers and relativistic thinkers with secondary Romantic worldview with relativistic, emotion-based decisions as well as a slight tip to biblical thought when one character asks protagonist if he is planning to go to hell, implying that his problem with his perverted outlook stems from the sins of his father; about four curse words; sex implied once and an incest theme depicted; no nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; smoking; and strong miscellaneous immorality includes acceptance of incestuous thoughts and pursuits as normal, portrayal of parents as spacey, amoral and out-of-touch, attempted robbery, woman tries to seduce teenager, and protagonist lies to his father and shows disrespectfulness to him at every turn.


Summary:

TADPOLE is a coming of age story about a 15-year-old boy who falls in love with his stepmother. It is a sad commentary on the emptiness of the heart without the moral absolutes of the Bible and the personal relationship and infilling of the saving presence of Jesus Christ.


Review:

Just as in the movies HAPPINESS, SHIPPING NEWS, and a deleted scene from KATE AND LEOPOLD, Hollywood’s latest theme of incest prevails in TADPOLE. Fortunately lasting only about 75 minutes, this movie is about a 15-year-old boy, Oscar (Aaron Stanford), who falls in love with his stepmother, Eve.
The movie begins with Oscar listening to his beloved French music and pontificating on the intricacies of Voltaire and Miller debates. Someone comments to him, “You’re a 40-year-old dropped into a 15-year-old’s body.” Oscar rejects a cute girl his own age and runs off to a bar to get drunk, pining over why he is attracted to and possibly in love with his stepmother, Eve (Sigourney Weaver). When asked why he is so glum, he replies, “I have high expectations.” A loose woman at the bar tries to seduce and rob him, and he staggers out of the bar, drunk.
Eve’s best friend, Diane (Bebe Neuwirth), finds Oscar wandering along a street. She takes him to her home, where he promptly lies on her chiropractic table for a massage. The massage leads to implied sex, much guilt and big attempts at cover-up by Oscar.
When Oscar’s father, Stanley (John Ritter), challenges him, he lies to his dad, telling him he was out late with a young girl. Dad seems to like that, and he gives Oscar a lecture on really getting to know a lady. Oscar lectures his father back, telling him that he doesn’t know how to listen, especially to Eve.
There is a big dinner that night with Oscar, Stanley, Eve, and, much to Oscar’s dismay, Diane. There are several funny and tense moments at the dinner, where Oscar silently begs the increasingly tipsy Diane not to reveal their affair, at the same time trying to make known his love to his stepmother, Eve.
The rest of the movie answers the questions: Will Eve respond to Oscar’s love, or will the whole thing blow up in Oscar’s face? Will he find true love? Will the wisdom of his French philosophers bring him lasting meaning?
TADPOLE is the sad pursuit of love in a philosophical world devoid of the absolutes of the One True God. As Francis Schaeffer said, “Relativism always leads to pessimism and despair.” This movie truly depicts the empty heart that all men have apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
The movie does contain some interesting quotes from some respected philosophers, like “One should always aim for being interesting rather than exact,” and “Listen to what silence tells you. Sometimes it’s peaceful, and other times it’s a shrill scream.” Oscar’s best friend tells him at one point, “If you’re going to mess with the stuff of tragedies, you have to be prepared for the fallout.”
The implied acceptance of incestuous thought as normal, however, gives one a creepy feeling throughout this movie. TADPOLE also defies one of the major rules in screenwriting for a love story: Viewers MUST be able to root for the love interest and want it to work. In TADPOLE, most viewers will just cringe at the thought!
Though it has an all-star cast, TADPOLE was made relatively cheaply using high definition digital video (Sony PD150), rather than film. It works pretty well, cinematography-wise, but the cringe factor of the theme far outweighs the movie’s interesting technical aspects.


In Brief:

TADPOLE is a coming of age story about Oscar, a 15-year-old boy who falls in love with his stepmother, Eve, played by Sigourney Weaver. Oscar runs off to a bar to get drunk, pining over why he is in love with his stepmother. He is robbed and staggers out of the bar, drunk. Eve’s best friend, Diane, finds him and takes him to her home, where he promptly lies on her chiropractic table for a massage. The massage leads to implied sex, much guilt and attempts by Oscar to cover up the affair. There is a dinner that night with Oscar, Stanley, Eve, and, much to Oscar’s dismay, Diane. There are several funny and tense moments at the dinner, where Oscar silently begs the increasingly tipsy Diane not to reveal their affair while at the same time trying to make known his love to his stepmother.
TADPOLE is the sad pursuit of love in a philosophical world devoid of the absolutes of the One True God. As Francis Schaeffer said, “Relativism always leads to pessimism and despair.” This movie truly depicts the empty heart that all men have apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ