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Thumbsucker - comedy DVD review
Thumbsucker rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Actors: Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Keanu Reeves, Benjamin Bratt
Director: Mike Mills   Studio: Sony Pictures
DVD release: 24 Jan. 2006   Runtime: 96 minutes (1 disc)
Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD features:Subtitles (French), Audio Tracks (English, Dolby Digital 5.0), Commentary by writer/director Mike Mills, Previews, Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Prize Winner, 2005

Justin Cobb sucks his thumb. If I ruined that for anyone, check the title again. He sucks his thumb when sleeping, or just idle. His family knows it, though he tries to hide it from them. His father (Vincent D'Onofrio) is positively rabid about getting Justin to stop; Mike writes his initials on Justin's thumb to monitor his son's habit.

Mike prefers that Justin and his brother call him Mike and their mother Audrey so that he won't feel too old. This has the effect of turning the parent-child relationship into more of a dysfunctional friendship than a dysfunctional family.

Audrey (Tilda Swinton) enlists Justin's help in trying to win a contest for a date with her favorite TV star. This freaks Justin out to some degree; I think I'd be sucking my thumb if my parents were like Justin's.

Perry Lyman (Keanu Reeves), Justin's dentist, does not want to re-straighten Justin's teeth (as he's already done so once) and takes it upon himself to hypnotize Justin to eliminate his habit once and for all. It works but leaves Justin acting out and expressing his residual tension in other ways. The school recommends Ritalin, and Justin is keen to try it despite his parent's trepidations. Ritalin turns Justin into the Debate Team's key debater and seems to solve some of his issues for a while.

Thumbsucker is another independent film about how it sucks to grow up. Although I realize that, these dramas still draw me in. All-in-all an enjoyable film. One sticking point for me is Keanu Reeves' character, Perry. He seems to be channeling Hugo Weaving's Agent Smith from the Matrix movies. This is a bit bothersome, but not a deal-killer.
reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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