Posted by Brandon |

A movie shouldn't be memorable based solely on a good performance by Keanu Reeves. Unfortunately for Thumbsucker, this is the case. Ok, it isn't that bad, but what I remember most about this more or less paint by numbers suburban teen coming of age indie movie are the bit players rather than the main characters or the story itself.

In order of most memorable, here are the 10 ways I will remember Thumbsucker...

1. Benjamin Bratt's drugged out Matt Schramm, a big time television actor whose overacting provides the film's only funny moments when they are watching his show "The Line". Benjamin Bratt is awesome in the five minutes he is on screen.
2. Mr. Geary (Vince Vaughn) primping in front of a mirror before a debate competition wishing he was bald. Vince Vaughn is awesome as well in a serious role. I'm just going to start seeing every movie he makes from here on out because he steals the show in all of them.
3. The Polyphonic Spree's joyous score that turns an otherwise drab movie into something much more meaningful even though there is nothing meaningful happening.
4. Ritalin is only three molecules away from cocaine.
5. The message that marijuana will help you get the girl you want, even if it is fleeting and help you get on an even keel when thumbsucking and Ritalin couldn't help.
6. Keanu Reeves is really good, because his retarded Bill and Ted "whoa" voice and tone work perfectly for his role as a hippie orthodontist.
7. Elliot Smith music = Coming of age!
8. Running through Times Square = Coming of age! (???)
9. It was filmed in Beaverton, Oregon.
10. Four idiots came into the theater with about five minutes left in the movie and talked the entire time.

Notice I didn't mention anything about Thumbsucker himself or his parents. This was the focus of the movie, and despite good performances by Lou Taylor Pucci, Vincent D'Onofrio and Tilda Swinton, nothing about them stood out as memorable or important. They had great chemistry and their relationships were spot on, but they kind of just wandered around bored and frustrated, which is exactly how I felt whenever they were on screen.

This film lacked a certain quality that would tie all of these good performances together into a successful story. The conflicts were minor, everyday stuff that we all had to deal with when we were younger and director Mike Mills doesn't really add anything new to the coming of age genre. Instead we get a very lifelike and normal (boring) story that is overshadowed by the fringe characters and the soundtrack.