Wednesday, January 16, 2013
"Girlfriend" with Shannon Woodward and Amanda Plummer (2010)
What you see isn’t always what it appears to be; and people can’t always be counted upon to be what you'd like them to be; well, sometimes. But in this film by Justin Lerner from his script/screenplay, that axiom is the rule as you struggle with your own set of values in trying to figure out just who is good and who is truly bad in this thought provoking work.
Newcomer Evan Sneider is absolutely amazing as a young man named Evan. He has Down’s syndrome, and when his mother passes away, suddenly, he is left alone to figure out about life. He has always been in love with Candy, played by Shannon Woodward, but she is so far out of his league that he has never let her know his feelings. At any rate, Candy has a child by her ex-boyfriend Russ, played by Jackson Rathbone, or does she? Russ doesn’t think so, and so he does little to help Candy with the boy, leaving her desperate for money and evicted from her home.
When Evan offers her some money from the insurance his mother has left him, to help her out, she initially refuses his offer. But when she is actually put out of her house, she has a change of heart and accepts his money. He wants them to be boyfriend/girlfriend, and in an effort to justify her taking his money, she plays along.
Meanwhile, ex-boyfriend Russ is having a fit seeing her with Evan, after having caught her with another; married man; in the past. He questions whether he is truly the father of the boy, and this doubt eats at him. It doesn’t take too long before he begins to use Evan as a way of finding out.
Evan is trying to keep his wits as both Candy and Russ take advantage of him in a game which turns dark pretty quickly in this tense and well-paced drama. But, in the end it’s hard to tell who is really good, and who is really bad in this film. John Steinbeck said it well in “Grapes of Wrath” when the preacher says, “Maybe there ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing.”