Another reviewer has said this was a cross between Carrie and Napoleon Dynamite, which is pretty accurate, although I found this far more entertaining than Napoleon. The main character Pauline, an outcast at school and rebel at home, navigates the waters of teenagehood with aspirations of one day becoming a surgeon. Her overbearing mother wants to make a proper lady out of her, while the father seems to have no say. Her little sister Grace, the only person she connects with, has cystic fibrosis.
It's also a lot like a John Water's film (who interestingly enough, appears in this movie), with Pauline's morbid dreams of sex and blood/surgery. As the story progresses, her dreams turn more and more into grandeur, as she envisions herself as being beautiful, desired, and worshiped.
Paulines is played by AnnaLynn McCord, who does a phenomenal job playing the creepy teen, from stooped posture and awkward smile to the outrageous comments she makes. Not to mention, a dramatic makeover.
|Left, Pauline; right, actress Annalynn|
An interesting thing about Pauline, she says in the beginning that she doesn't believe in God, yet continual prays to him. But towards the end, she says: "I find it harder and harder not to believe in you." As she thinks God has given her this gift of surgery, part of her deepening delusion.
The rest of the cast is basically cardboard cutouts; they do a fine job filling their role, but there's nothing unique or interesting about them, which works in this film as Pauline is meant to be the only weird one.
A theme that pops up is that Pauline is constantly bringing up the need to see a psychiatrist. She's aware that she's not quite right, and even confesses to God that she does some crazy shit, but her parents refuse to "break bank" to have her see a psychiatrist. Instead, her parents refer her to their local priest. Even when she lashes out at other students, after they teepeed her home, the principal laughs at her suggestion to send her to a psychiatrist. In light of recent events, where mentally ill individuals committed horrific crimes, and you know how people always say there were "signs", but sadly, nothing was done. I think this film, although released in Jan. 2012, was poking at that. It's not until the very end that Pauline finally gets signed up to see a doctor, but of course, it's too late by then.
If you're looking for an entertaining black comedy, and don't mind gallons of blood and some disturbed images, I'd recommend this. There's a few good scenes that'll make you chuckle, and many more that'll make you cover your eyes.