HOME ABOUT SUPPORT US SITES WE LIKE FORUM Search Fanboyplanet.com | Powered by Freefind FANBOY PLANET
Now Showing Today's Date:

House of D

First-time filmmakers sometimes get lost in their own stories when attempting to convey stories that hit close to home. Others are able to inject aspects of their pasts into their work without allowing sentimental attachment to the past to cloud the focus of their film.

It’s unsure whether or not House of D is based upon the life of its writer/director David Duchovny, but it certainly feels close to home for the first-time director. The result is a clouded tale that should, by all means, intrigue and touch audiences in a very resounding fashion, but ultimately falls short of doing so effectively.

Duchovny’s film begins with images of Tom Warshaw, an American artist who has transplanted himself to France in search of, well, we aren’t sure initially. He likes to draw under his bed, and in voiceover, drones on about his past and something about finally coming clean about his history to his wife and child. Why? What dark secret does Tom hold inside, closed off from the rest of the world? We don’t know, but upon stating his intent it becomes clear that by the film’s end, we surely will.

The secret is found in his childhood, which was spent under the loving care of his neurotic mother (Tea Leoni) in New York City. His confession is centered on the events that led young Tommy to close himself off emotionally to the rest of the world.

Tommy wasn’t much different than your average thirteen-year-old American boy growing up in the seventies. He attends an all boys school on scholarship while his single mother balances lamenting the loss of her husband to cancer and the remainder of Tommy’s tuition to continue his education.

Tommy’s story is a rather routine “coming of age” tale with a few noticeable touches that set it apart in places. His eye eventually catches the eye of a young girl whom he fancies, much to the chagrin of his best friend, Pappass (Robin Williams). Pappass is “retarded,” a term that the film notes was acceptable at the time, and works a meat delivery route with Tommy when not moonlighting as the school’s Assistant Janitor. Or perhaps it’s the other way around.

Pappass’ father is a drunk, who spends the majority of his time…well, drinking. When he isn’t imbibing, he is stealing Pappass’ tips and wages to buy more booze in which to drown his sorrows. These are characters with struggles, but they are all characters whose struggles act as a jail cell.

At times metaphoric, at others simplistic writing, Duchovny’s script fails to choose one and run with it, opting instead to bounce back and forth between the two.

Which brings us to Lady Bernadette (Erykah Badu), a woman remanded to solitary confinement in the Women’s House of Detention and who offers Tommy advice in the affairs of the heart along the way. Notice that the title of the film refers not to the “House of Duchovny,” but rather to the Women’s “House of D,” at which Tommy receives advice that will forever alter his life and change his outlook in regards to affairs of the heart.

Overall, the film is enjoyable. It offers moments of innocence that often endear in films such as this, but as aforementioned remains flawed in the end. How? Well, the effects of Tommy’s youth are stated to have stunted his ability to function as an adult, but we never see evidence of this within the film other than expository dialogue indicating such. Duchovny’s performance, as an adult Tom, feels as if he is a loving father and husband, but everyone behaves as though he isn’t.

The reasoning behind Tommy’s crush Melissa (Zelda Williams) turning their relationship off at the drop of the hat serves only to play into a convenient “domino” sequence in which all that Tommy has going for him falls over all around him. The film is littered with moments of convenience such as this, and it fails to keep the film feeling like it’s “playing fair” with its audience.

Tommy’s troubles are ultimately resolved, but other than his hardships from his past it is difficult to see exactly what these troubles might be. Growing past ones past can be difficult, undoubtedly, but the film sets about with the premise of “fixing” something, but how can you fix something that doesn’t appear broken to begin with?


Mario Anima

Our Friends:

Official PayPal Seal

Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001, 2014 by Fanboy Planet™.
"The Fanboy Planet red planet logo is a trademark of Fanboy Planetâ„¢
If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
Movies | Comics | Wrestling | OnTV | Guest | Forums | About Us | Sites