Monday, May 2, 2011

RUFF CROWD EXCLUSIVE - The Beaver Ain’t Worth A Dam

By Stella Cole, Top Critic
Hollywood, California

Personally, if I saw Mel Gibson, I would probably bite him. But whatever your feelings are towards him, you have to admit that he’s done some fine work in the past. So maybe it was a morbid fascination that compelled me to attend the press screening of director Jodi Foster’s The Beaver. With a plot so bizarre, it has to be interesting, right?

If you haven’t heard of this movie, it’s about a depressed Dad who really goes off the deep-end. On the verge of suicide, he happens upon a fabric beaver puppet in a dumpster, grants it a voice and a personality, and gives the puppet complete control of his life. His family and coworkers are forced to play along, operating under the assumption that it’s a therapist-suggested treatment program for coping. Naturally, his wife and two sons are completely terrorized by this ridiculous behavior, and thus have to learn to cope in their own way.

If you’re thinking, hey, this sounds a lot like Lars & The Real Girl, which is a completely underrated gem of a film, you can just stop right there. The Beaver lacks all of the authenticity and charm of Lars, and fails to ring true on any level. Foster unfortunately mangles what should have been a unique and provocative story into the kind of formulaic Hollywood schlock that had me checking my watch every ten minutes. With hokey writing and suffocating subplots to contend with, even the talented kids were unusually lame, namely Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin, my darling Jennifer Lawrence from Winter’s Bone, and that pretentious little shithead from the Toyota commercials. And perhaps worst of all, the ultra-lame “happy” ending was so corny, I think I would have actually preferred a suicide! Nothing about this film worked, and what could have been a memorable and career-rejuvenating role for Gibson was instead a frustrating power struggle between a beaver and an asshole.

Summary: At least the night wasn’t a complete loss – I got to sniff the great Leonard Maltin!

Wags: 2/5

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