Inventing the Abbotts

Bomb Rating: 

Doug and Pam run around looking at each other with those "I really want to screw you now but if I do it'll cut the film short" eyes.

It's so damn obvious from the beginning of "Inventing the Abbotts" that Doug Holt (Joaquin Phoenix) and Pam Abbott (Liv Tyler) are going to get together that you just wish the filmmakers would get the whole thing over with. Instead, they stretch it all out into some ridiculous class-conflicted melodrama where Doug and Pam run around looking at each other with those "I really want to screw you now but if I do it'll cut the film short" eyes. Thus, they always find some stupid, frequently unexplained reason not to express their feelings or to express them in such a way as to confuse the other person entirely.

Aside from being completely predictable, one of the reasons most people will know exactly how this film ends is because they've seen the trailer, which, idiotically, reveals the film's cathartic moment. Apparently Pat ("Circle of Friends") O'Connor and the rest of the filmmakers thought catharsis was some type of feline disease because they didn't think twice about sucking it right out of this movie with their little promotion.

Since there's never any real doubt that Pam and Doug will hook up and make the film a happy experience, it was a true disappointment that the filmmakers didn't get some mileage out of other characters in the film, particularly Will Patton, who plays the Abbott patriarch. Personally, if I were the director, one of the Abbott girls would have turned around and screamed in horror: "Holy shit, Will Patton is my father!" and run under a passing bus.

Will Patton just looks flat-out freaky all the time, as if at any moment he's going to do something wacky. Actually, it's rather unfortunate that Patton didn't go on some wild fork-throwing rampage in this movie, because at least it would have added some gore and carnage and made this film nominally interesting.

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