Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Teeth: Does it actually have any real bite?

In celebration of me getting my tooth that had be agony for the past week sorted out, I decided I should write about something teeth related. So, what better than 2007's Teeth?

In a nutshell, the film is about a teenage girl who is a member of a Christian abstinence group called The Promise, where they make a promise to God to save themselves for the wedding night. She falls for a boy in the group, and they end up going off to the local swimming hole together, where he tries to rape her but, in every mans worst nightmare, her vagina is filled with teeth that bite his penis off. Out of harm, she is left to deal with the fact her lady parts have something very none-lady like going on. The film continues on with several encounters where this anomaly rears its teeth again, while the confused teenager tries to figure out just what is going on.


Well shot and acted, the film holds together nicely as an indie drama, and I'm sure I could gush about it for paragraphs like that, but I won't. There is a major elephant in the room. The film is about a woman with teeth in her vagina that can bite, but it is exactly what I just described it as, an indie drama. Calling this a bait and switch seems like it would be too nice for it. What it is is disappointing. 

You don't go into a film like this wanting to see a young girls struggles against typical sexual pressures in what is shown to be a very misandry filled flick. Every man in it is an asshole, who abuses a poor young woman unsure of the changes she is going through. Come on, I can buy some people being abusive or whatnot, but pretty much every man is horrible. 

He's a gynecologist. His fingers are missing. 
Do the math.

It is trying to be a morality tale for the young woman and man who might take advantage of her, and to this end, it is successful, but it is ham-fisted at best. If there was a mixed bag of people, then the film would be acceptable, but it reeks of being penned by a man hater, even though written by a man, which can only lead to one conclusion; he has a low view of women in that they have to be in peril to be able to be able to fight back or have any power (looking in to it, he is also gay, which might correspond to this conclusion).

This is woman empowerment, eh?

The film has been labelled a black comedy. Don't be fooled. It is an indie drama, closer to Little Miss Sunshine than Slither. The premise is solid, but poorly executed. It needed to be more like David Cronenberg's Rabid, to allow itself to be exploitative and fun. It still could have had its message, but it would have been less in your face (the same 'girl becoming woman' theme was already expertly handled in Ginger Snaps). Instead, we have a mess of a film that thinks its being smart and biting, when really, it has no teeth. 

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