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Take Me to the River

Director:  Matt Sobel
Year Released:  2015
Rating:  0.5

Gay teen Ryder (Logan Miller) - you know he's gay because the movie tells you in the first few seconds - goes on a trip with his parents from California to Nebraska for a family reunion - there, he spends time with 9-year-old Molly (Ursula Parker) in a barn (before he's able to finish his hamburger!) and she runs out, covered in blood, leading Molly's Dad (Josh Hamilton) to accuse him of inappropriate sexual behavior. From a psychological standpoint, I'm not convinced anyone in this acts like a normal human being (especially Miller's character, who is inarticulate) and the 'script' (by Sobel) believes being coy is artful: it's dealing with a taboo topic (child sexuality) but its handling of that subject is crude ("Chicken fighting?"). Also odious: using Ryder's homosexuality - embodied by his short pink shorts, deep-cut V-neck t-shirt, gaudy sunglasses - in order to 'shield' him from the creepy sexual undercurrents and help maintain audience identification.

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