Tabloid Sludge

Remember
the prom mom? She was 18, it was her prom and nobody knew she
was pregnant, so she went to the bathroom, hiked up her dress, had the
kid, stuffed him in a trash can, and went back to the dance floor a
half hour later. Stuck, directed by Stuart Gordon and starring
Mena Suvari and Stephen Rea is one of those similar "like, this is
going to mess up, like, MY ENTIRE LIFE; seriously, why does this have
to happen to me?" kind of stories. The problem is, the tone
careens from "cautionary tale" to "dead baby joke" in a way
that leaves you feeling a bit unmoved.

Based
on the true story of Chante Mallard, a Texas woman who ran over a homeless
man while driving home drunk. The man flew through her windshield
and became lodged so Mallard, who apparently felt victimized through
this whole debacle, drove home and left him in her garage still alive
while she had sex with her boyfriend. The film is pretty faithful
to the story, except it kind of sucks.

It’s
clear that Gordon chose the story for its black comedy, but it’s really
mishandled. The boyfriend (Russell Hornsby) plays his character
for cheap laughs instead of trying to match the tone of Mena Suvari
and Stephen Rea, who apparently weren’t let in on the joke. The
resulting mess of botched comedy, pondering drama, and squishy horror
sound effects is a little boring. Like the prom mom, the story
of Mallard is outrageous enough on its own.

Opens June 6th, 2008, at the Landmark Lagoon Cinema.