"Facing Past Mistakes"
What You Need To Know:
HOUSE OF D has a lot of emotional appeal, but the pacing is detrimental to the movie as a whole. While the characters are very likable, viewers have to wait too long for something important to happen. The first half of the movie is especially slow, full of fillers such as crude jokes and filthy banter. Through consequences and changes of heart in the main character, the movie achieves some redemptive value, including some positive Christian allusions. The depiction of immoral themes throughout the movie, however, makes a rating of extreme caution quite necessary for older teenagers and adults.
(C, PaPa, LLL, S, AA, DD, MM) Light Christian worldview, but combined with some strong pagan aspects that show the redemptive value of growing up and learning from mistakes (the main portion of the film is a flashback and has a pagan shade to it due to crude humor, the defacing and destruction of a Bible, extreme disrespect towards authority, and ultimately euthanasia, but, at the conclusion the return to present day brings a Christian worldview as adults reflect on their childish ways and turn from them, the crumpled Bible is restored and treasured, and respect is given to the mentally challenged); one blatant profanity, 26 obscenities not including countless crude references to the male sex organ in a scene of schoolyard taunting, crude humor, a boy seen using the toilet on multiple occasions as well as one scene when a women uses the toilet; no violence, implied sexual references from a grown woman to a child; alcohol use and drunkenness; heavy smoking, references to marijuana, and abuse of prescription drugs; and strong miscellaneous immorality such as a stolen bike and euthanasia.
HOUSE OF D is a coming of age film that tells of a young man who never had the chance to grow up. His adventures with his mentally handicapped best friend, turbulent relationship with his widowed mother, and guidance from an unseen inmate at the women’s house of detention lead him to escape from his problems rather than face them. Eventually, he can no longer run and must face his past so that he and his family can finally heal.
HOUSE OF D stars David Duchovny as Tom Warshaw, an American artist living in present day Paris, France. He is a neglectful husband and father, and the story begins with Tom preparing to explain to his wife and son exactly why he has never grown up.
Anton Yelchin plays 13-year-old Tommy Warshaw in 1970s New York, who recently lost his father and now must take care of his dysfunctional mother, Katherine, played by Tea Leoni. Tommy attends private school and is best friends with Papass, the mentally handicapped school janitor, played by Robin Williams. Tommy and Papass do everything together, including an after school job delivering meat.
Tommy begins to grow up and spend time with girls. Papass cannot follow Tommy on this journey and grows resentful. Tommy then discovers Lady Bernadette, played by Erykah Badu, a voice coming from a window at the women’s house of detention, or House of D, as it is called. She becomes his advisor in all situations.
As Tommy’s life continues to spin further and further out of control, Lady Bernadette gives him a final piece of advice. She tells him to run. This brings things back to present day Paris, where Tom must decide what to do to be the husband and father he knows he needs to be.
Rated PG-13, HOUSE OF D has a lot of emotional appeal, but the pacing of the movie is detrimental to the movie as a whole. While the characters are very likable, viewers have to wait too long for something important to happen. The first half is especially slow, full of fillers such as crude jokes and filthy banter.
If the audience can bear through the slow pace of the movie the pay off is quite good. The question is whether it is good enough. The audience will find themselves feeling strong emotions, which is the ultimate purpose of the entire movie. The clever and skilful acting saves the movie, to some extent.
The use of flashback seems to coincide with the movie’s two worldviews. In Tommy’s early teen years the audience sees the pagan, worldly behavior. It’s not until Tommy is a grown man that the audience sees the consequences for his actions and the desire to change what he has done. This not only brings redemptive, Christian value to Tommy’s life, but it also brings redemptive value to the movie as well. However, the depiction of immoral themes throughout the movie makes a rating of extreme caution quite necessary for older teenagers and adults.