Hard Candy

Director: David Slade
Year Released: 2005
Rating: 0.5

A 32-year-old photographer who - we're going to safely assume - wants to seduce a '14-year-old' has the tables turned on him in what's intended to be a Lolita¬ meets Mamet's Oleanna meets Dorfman's Death and the Maiden. I'm all for addressing the issue of adults seducing children and/or teens (and the hysteria surrounding 'the last taboo'), but there are two fundamental problems: (a.) avoiding unnecessary sensationalism (and becoming hysterical) and (b.) remaining believable. To be fully honest, I never bought any of this from the beginning - call me naive, but I refuse to believe even an 18-year-old is as cunning and whip-cord smart as this teen, who drifts so far from the realms of the real that she has to be a screenwriter's mad invention (told ya all those magazines with those unrealistic expectations were poison for the brain!). Jolting, yes, but for the cheapest of reasons - and the ending, in my opinion, is a cop-out.