16 February 2006 | aimless-46
The Exact Opposite of Everything I Hate
To paraphrase Thora Birch: "I kind of like this movie. It's the exact opposite of everything I hate in a film".
This obscure film was too low key and intelligent to get a theatrical release, any chance for success would have needed a costly promotional campaign. And a coming of age story where nothing spectacular happens - where instead the focus is on character development, has a limited target audience. Whoever heard of a mature teen movie?
But if you have an opportunity to see this or if you can part with a few bucks for the DVD, you could do a lot worse. "My Teacher's Wife" is nothing revolutionary but it has a lot going for it and holds up well to repeated viewings.
Jason London (as high school senior Todd Boomer) is the star and fits this character as well as his parts in "The Man In the Moon" and "Dazed and Confused". He is helped out by exceptional work from his supporting cast. Tia Carrere in the title role is a revelation (she can act) as Todd's calculus tutor and love interest. Christopher McDonald as the teacher in a nice self-parodying performance. Zak Orth and Alexondra Lee as Todd's best friends, and Jeffrey Tabor as his father.
As someone commented earlier, this is a "mature" teen movie because the romantic relationships are universally unsuccessful-at least by traditional happy ending standards. Even Todd's parents are indifferent to each other, with his father panting after the title character and his mother (Leslie Lyles) literally on the telephone during her entire time on screen (a device that provides increasing comedy relief with each successive appearance). The London-Carrere romance has unexpected charm and is far more believable than any other older woman storyline you are likely to find.
But the real strength of the film is the evolving relationship of the three friends. There is no overwrought melodrama here, just three immature people who alternate between testing and trusting each other, subject to all the dynamics that three young people can bring to this kind of thing. They actually manage to pull off a "believable" three-person relationship, perhaps the first one in cinema history.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.