Lawn Dogs

Bomb Rating: 

This film tries so hard to be irreverent that it collapses under the sheer weight of its overweening wackiness.

"Lawn Dogs" would be an interesting title if it had anything at allto do with this movie. It seems to me it should be "Lawn Dog" since one of the two main characters, Trent (Sam Rockwell), mows lawns in the absurdly fashionable and homogenous community of Camelot Gardens.

There lives little Devon (Mischa Barton) who, had she some peculiar fascination with her parents' (Christopher MacDonald and Kathleen Quinlan) lawn, would have legitimized this film's title. She has no such fascination. Instead, she's fascinated by a Russian folk tale about Baba Yaga, a creature who eats little girls, and by Trent, whom she's determined to make her friend despite the fact that he lives in a trailer home in the middle of the forest far beyond the boundaries of Camelot Gardens.

This film tries so hard to be irreverent that it collapses under the sheer weight of its overweening wackiness. It features full frontal male nudity, a ten-year-old girl taking off her shirt, and two characters who form a bond based on their scars: Trent's from a shooting and Devon's from heart surgery. The parents are played much like the parents in "Heathers": reviled for both their idiocy and their wealth.

Director John ("Flirting") Duigan "borrows" elements from dark comedies such as "Heathers," "Blue Velvet" and so many others that listing them all would accomplish nothing more than to mirror the "cult" section at the local Blockbuster -- which is where Duigan obviously trolled for his cinematic inspiration.

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