House of D

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

This hodge-podge story centers on the adolescent years of Tom Warshaw (David Duchovny), a 30-something American artist living in Paris. The 13th birthday of his son reminds him of his pivotal 13th year when he was living in New Yorks Greenwich Village with his pill-popping, chain-smoking mother (Tea Leoni) in the 1970s. Young Tommys (Anton Yelchin) best friend is the retarded school janitor, 40-year old Pappass (Robin Williams). Pappass and Tommy earn tips delivering meat for a butcher and bury their money under a prostitutes (Erykah Badu) barred window at a detention home for women. Tom deals with an emotionally unstable mother, protects Pappass from the cruel taunts of schoolmates, and struggles with his first crush on Melissa (Zelda Williams). The camaraderie between Tommy and Pappas is poignant and humorous, but much of House of D is forced and unbelievable, especially the sappy ending.

His French wife (Magali Amadei) tells Tom he must go back to New York and deal with his past before he can be a positive role model for their son. That helps him put his past in perspective. Tommy carefully counts his mothers pills to keep track of how many she is taking each day, but he cant stop her self-destructive path. Her possessiveness hints of incestuous feelings for Tommy. The movie focuses on pubescent boys obsession with sex. They giggle when their French teacher mispronounces the word focus, make fun of flat-chested girls and each others developing body, and show insatiable curiosity about sex. The film deals with adult subjects wrapped in crude humor. The plot involves an assisted suicide, which is shown to have serious emotional consequences. In addition, bad language, sexual content, innuendo and adult themes call for a renovation of House of D.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Lion's Gate

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (9) times moderate (t-ts 1); strong (-ss 7, other 1)

Obscene Language: Many (21) times moderate (p-ss 2, scr-w 1, b-lls 5); strong (s-word 4, wordplay on focus 6, slang for male erection 3)

Profanity: None

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times mild and moderate (teenage boys tease retarded man about sexual arousal, crude references to male anatomy, teachers pronunciation of word sounds like f-word, mother watches teenage son shower, jokes about flat-chested girl)

Drugs: Few times mild (son counts mothers pills, mother chain smokes); moderate (mother in coma from overdose, drunk elderly man drinks from whiskey bottle, drugs and drunkenness not condoned)

Other: Retarded man steals bicycle while friend takes blame, prostitute acts as surrogate mom to boy by listening to his problems, boys tease retarded man, teenager feels responsible for his mothers situation and removes life support, close friendship of retarded man and teenager stands the test of time

Running Time: 96 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.