This is a lovely little story with lots of comedy and drama in equal measure. Ashley Rickards is wonderful as Bethany Pruitt, the sheltered, home-schooled protagonist of this film. Her character is the most fully-realized and best-acted in the cast. The rest are more like archetypes of characters, achieved with varying degrees of success. The mother is definitely over-protective but over-acted,the father is a barely-there character, and the father's boyfriend, played by poor Haley Joel Osment, is more a mocking caricature of a young, gay man that an actual live person. What gets you though are the small moments: the first time Bethany says hello to the hot Mexican boy across the street; Bethany's firing from Michael Paul's store because "some people are afraid of change"; Behtany's unadulterated excitement at getting accepted into fashion school. You are with her every step of the way. I just wish the supporting roles were a little stronger, more developed as individuals instead of types. The movie would have been a true sleeper hit.
Comedy / Drama
Comedy / Drama
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Desperate to get out from under her overprotective mother, a home-schooled teen runs off to live with her dad, and forms a bond with his much-younger boyfriend.
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Find the Courage to Strike Out on Your Own!
Growing up and moving on against the odds--quirky times ten
Sassy Pants (2012)
In a way this is a simple story: a pretty young 18 year old girl growing up in an obsessively sheltered home with her mom tries to finally leave home. Her dad is a loser but a fun guy living across town. The world seems against her, but she rises up little by little.
So what sustains this story, which has few surprises, surprisingly, is the style of acting chosen. Because everything is deliberately campy and excessive. No one is quite real except the girl, played by Ashley Rickards, who is wonderfully real and adorable in the way you'd sort of hope your daughter might turn out. Naturally you are on her side and the rest of the world is an obstacle course. Even the likable dad is a problem because he is a drunk and shows generally bad judgement.
It's the dad's new partner in life who stirs up the movie, but you'll have to see about that yourself. If you get that far. I found the exaggerations all along not quite funny, but just an excuse for some sorry acting. Or an excuse for not having a larger idea of how to fill the movie up. I could see this becoming a cult classic with some fixes here and there.
And with a more interesting plot. With all the bending of norms here, the plot could have survived a few huge and funny and engaging twists. Once you get the style and the general direction of events, it just plods to the end.
I laughed, I cried... no really I did.
From the minute it began this quirky movie had me, hearkening back to other Indy greats like "Welcome to the Dollhouse." The cast was amazing. Stand-outs for me in the supporting cast were Haley Joel Osment as the uber-gay trailer trash boyfriend with a heart of gold, and the ailing always coughing Jenny O'Hara as the tough as nails grandma with (you guessed it) a heart of gold. However, the understated performance by Ashley Rickards stole the show. The writing is smart, funny and current which is a huge compliment in today's overly-hip-trying-too-hard environment, and Sohn's directorial debut in a feature length movie is to be applauded. The relationships are real, dysfunctional, but loving. The poignant ending of the movie left me wanting more.