Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lawn Dogs

John Duigan, 1997 (8.2*)
Young Mischa Barton (about 11 here) is surprisingly adult in her first starring role, as Devon - here she steals this film from adult actors. Sam Rockwell is Trent, a landscape maintenance worker in an upper-class suburban neighborhood, and oddly, she chooses him to befriend while she's not making any friends at her new school. Her worried dad, Christopher McDonald, even talks to her in private, telling her she can "leave the old Devon behind and create a new one".

Trent is obviously from the wrong side of the tracks, and also has a criminal record, which makes him even more ostracized. Ironically, rich girl, and super film goddess, Angie Harmon comes around after hours to his trailer for a little slumming in the sack. Devon's mom, Kathleen Quinlan, also dallies around, and has a hilarious scene making the salad for a yardfull of friends outside while fooling around inside.

For some odd reason, and maybe this stretches the credibility of the film a little, he grudgingly accepts her friendship - perhaps to get back at the status-minded adults in a small way. However, making bigger enemies of the town and your employers is bound to cause some tension eventually.

The adults, and the 'rich kids' are universally materialistic, self-centered, and bigoted. The frienship between Devon, a child, and Trent, a young adult, is the only healthy relationship shown, as the adults have their own barely-hidden vices.

Winner of 7 awards overall

Mischa Barton, born in London, was just 12
 in Lawn Dogs, is now all grown up at 25


Anonymous,  August 31, 2011 at 9:27 AM  

That's Angie Harmon, not Andie. Good movie! Watch it on

José Sinclair September 2, 2011 at 11:34 AM  

Yes, definitely ANGIE - thanks for the catch, a simple typo as I've ogled her often, she is definitely a film goddess, of the babe persuasion! Her good looks are almost so perfect as to be boring, but note I said 'almost', lol..

I was impressed by young Mischa in this, I think she may have done her best work here

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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