Friday, December 5, 2008

"David and Lisa" (1962, Dir: Frank Perry)

This interesting, offbeat coming-of-age benefits from a nice supporting cast and some intriguing directorial flourishes, but a prosaic, unrealistic script and a hammy performance by young lead Keir Dullea make it more of a chore to sit through than it should be.

Irritating teen David (Dullea), who has a fear of being touched, is sent to a private boarding school for the special (I think that's the PC term?), where he meets MPD girl Lisa (a beautiful Janet Margolin, doing pretty well in a shallow role), who only talks in rhyme and has an alternate personality named Muriel, who is withdrawn and silent. They get to know each other, stuff happens and it all winds up towards a predictable but sweet result.

Supporting cast is fine - Howard Da Silva as the head psych, Richard McMurray and Neva Patterson as David's parents and Jaime Sanchez and the intriguing but underused Coni Hudak as some of David's schoolmates are all stellar.

Moody and enchanting at times, but the slow pace and Dullea's complete lack of acting ability kill it.

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