It's been awhile since I've seen a movie that made me cringe as many
times as I did while watching Gummo. The film, directed and written by
Kids writer Harmony Korine, depicts life of teenagers in Xenia, Ohio following
a devastating tornado.
Starring: Jacob Sewell, Nick Sutton, and
The film has no real story
or plot. It's a series of vignettes featuring the young white trash
inhabitants of Xenia killing time and trying to
entertain themselves. Most of the film features Tummler (Nick Sutton)
and Solomon (Jacob Reynolds) traipsing around town engaging in such fun
activities as killing cats, sniffing glue, paying a man to have sex with
his retarded wife and turning off a comatose woman's life support because "she's
There are some people who will no doubt defend Gummo as an eye-opening
film about life in a broken-down town in Middle America. There are probably
people who feel that this film is honest and unflinching in its portrayals
of wayward youth with no guidance and nowhere to direct their energy.
Fine. I can see those as being valid opinions but I wholeheartedly disagree.
Gummo may be eye-opening and unflinching, but that doesn't make it any
There are occasional flashes
of brilliance in some of the script. A monologue that Tummler delivers
to the aforementioned pimping husband is absolutely
hilarious. However, most of the "script" sounds like it was
ad-libbed. When that style of scripting works, it can be called documentary-like.
Here it sounds like non-actors are trying to act and not succeeding very
Gummo comes off as a behind the scenes look at the lives of Jerry
Springer Show guests. If you're into that kind of entertainment, Gummo is probably
your idea of good cinema.
Sevigny, who stars as Dot, also served as the film's costume designer.
Internet Movie Database)