Review: ‘Drool’

White-trash-melodrama cliches both "Hounddog" serious and "Sordid Lives" comedic hobble "Drool."

White-trash-melodrama cliches both “Hounddog” serious and “Sordid Lives” comedic hobble “Drool.” Add borrowings from “Juno” (wiseacre teen narrator, check) and “Little Miss Sunshine” (wacky dysfunctional-family road trip, check), and writer-director Nancy Kissam’s inexplicably named feature feels a tad Frankensteinian, sewing second-hand ideas together most inorganically. The usual paucity of lesbian features should help Strand’s planned fall release, though its smallscreen future looks brighter.

Pitiful Oklahoma housewife Anora (Laura Harring) is doormat to bratty son Little Pete (Christopher Newhouse), slutty daughter Tabby (Ashley Duggan Smith) and alcoholic, ogre-like hubby Cheb (Oded Fehr). New neighbor Imogene (Jill Marie Jones) arrives like a ray of sunlight. But when Anora is discovered lip-locked with this African-American gal-pal, Cheb explodes and ends up accidentally killed. Protags then journey to hide his corpse and cement this new two-mommy family. Ebullient Jones is definitely the spark plug here, even if Imogene reps yet another warm, wonderful black woman with apparently nothing else to do besides rescue the poor white lady. Other perfs are one-note, in line with the unsubtle script and direction. Campily bright visuals further undermine gratuitous dark revelations of incest and sexual harassment.

Drool

Production

A Strand Releasing release of an Upload Films and Instinctive Film presentation in association with Elements Entertainment and Slamdance. Produced by John Portnoy, Todd Williams, Nick Thurlow. Executive producers, Nils Larsen, Chad Marting, Peter Baxter, Darryn Welch, Chris Ouwinga. Directed, written by Nancy Kissam.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-DigiBeta), Kara Stephens; editor, Jenn Belleville; music, Dana Boule; production designer, Maurin Scarlata. Reviewed at Frameline, San Francisco, June 20, 2009. (Also in Slamdance Film Festival, NewFest, Outfest.) Running time: 86 MIN.

With

Laura Harring, Jill Marie Jones, Ashley Duggan Smith, Christopher Newhouse, Ruthie Austin, Oded Fehr.
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