Left Header Right Header
Header 3a   Header Right End A Header Right End B Space
Header Left 3b
Movie Reviews Movie Trivia
FREE Membership MatchFlick Friday - Win Free DVDs

Member Login  [help]
Member Trends
 Top 10 List
 Exclusive Interviews
 Horror Club
 Zombie Club
Movie News
 Current News
 News Archives
Message Board
 Go To The Forum
Cool Statistics
 Member Stats
 Trivia Stats
Columns   [more]
 Have You Been Sp...
 But Can She Act?...
 They're Not The ...
 Time Does Fly Wh...
 Column Archives
Popular Movies  [more]
 World War Z
 Mission Impossible 4
 Twilight Breaking Dawn
Popular People  [more]
 Leonardo DiCaprio
 Megan Fox
 Tom Cruise
 Join for FREE
 About MatchFlick
 Privacy Policy
 Guess That Scene
 RSS Feeds
Growing Pains
by Scott Tunstall

Subscribe to MatchFlick Movie Columns through RSS
email this column to a friend

Out of place.

Out of place.
Coming of age stories can be tricky. Too much comedy and you risk not being taken seriously. Too much drama and you risk being accused of preachiness. Filmmakers like John Hughes deftly balanced both comedy and drama with often great results. Alan Ball - the creative force behind Six Feet Under and True Blood- tackles several hotbed issues with his big screen debut, such as racism, bad parenting and pedophilia. TOWELHEAD isn't much for laughs, but it also steers clear of the dreaded melodrama.

Daddy dearest.

Daddy dearest.

Thirteen-year-old Jasira is becoming a woman. To help protect her from society's ills, her mother ships her to Houston to live with her estranged father, Rifat. An immigrant from Lebanon, Rifat is strict and traditional. His heavy-handed attempts to shield Jasira from growing up too fast are met with opposition. Unable to relate to her father, Jasira turns to an adult neighbor named Travis, played by Aaron Eckhart. Travis's creepy advances frighten and confuse Jasira, who is still coming to terms with her burgeoning sexuality. An 
Bad intentions.

Bad intentions.
absentee father and a profound naivete prevent Jasira from understanding the dangers of her actions.

Alan Ball doesn't pull any punches. The journey of Jasira is packed with pitfalls. She is bombarded with racial slurs, molested by an older man and beaten by her father for dating a black boy. Her parents are selfish, out-of-touch and uninvolved. She is essentially left to her own devices to navigate the perilous path of adolescence. It's impossible to shelter a child from the evils of the world, but taking an interest in their lives could 
Seeking solace.

Seeking solace.
save  them a lot of pain.

Summer Bishil delivers a memorable performance playing Jasira. Watching her transform from timid little girl to hardened young woman is both shocking and poignant. She is asked to carry the weight of the film and she doesn't disappoint. Eckhart is equally convincing as the seemingly nice Travis; while not sympathetic, he is nonetheless a sad character. Solid additional support comes from Maria Bello, Peter Macdissi and Toni Collette. TOWELHEAD is not without flaws, but the story is powerful and relevant. Definitely worth the two hours.

email this column to a friend

Comment on this Column:

Sorry, you must be a member to add comments to columns.

Join or Login.

Subscribe to MatchFlick Movie Reviews through RSS

Eye On The Overlooked
Every other Sunday

A lot of great movies slip through the cracks. I'm here to catch them.

Other Columns
Other columns by Scott Tunstall:

High School Can Be Murder

A Wolf In Girl's Clothing

Southern Hospitality

Ten Great Films From the 2000s

Down With The System

All Columns

Scott Tunstall
Scott is a freelance writer currently living in the Southeast. He is a film school grad with a love of theory and screenwriting. His tastes vary from obscure niche films to giant Hollywood blockbusters. In other words, he'll watch pretty much anything.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Scott Tunstall by clicking here.

Digg This Column

  Terms of Use | Press | Contact Us
Partnership and Advertising Opportunities | Movie Database | Merchandise

©2004-2017 MatchFlick®. All rights reserved.

Web Analytics