All instruments need calibration, setting standards against benchmarks. So the same with movies, you need a really crap movie to recognize that yes, your bullshit detectors are still working and valid. “Pumpkin” is such a movie, it’s so bad, so you can still tell what is good.
“Pumpkin” isn’t about the retarded, it is retarded. The movie has promise, an interesting proposition, some good cast members, but lurches around spastically from scene to scene. It’s as if the first-time directors drew a Venn diagramm using ” What’s Eating Gilbert Grape “, a randomly chosen Farrelly Brothers movie, and a John Waters movie (“Hairspray” somewhat) using the area where all three failed, and stayed firmly within that boundary.
This is a good movie if you are having doubts about the freshness of the batteries in your critical faculties. Yes, it is bad. Not horrid, just poorly scripted, barely adequate production values and so-so acting. One purient question: was there a reason why Christine Ricci had her high-beams on in so many scenes? Since she was a producer of this movie, I’m sure there’s some reason other than the obvious.
One bonus is the use of tunes from Mercury Rev and Belle & Sebastian in the soundtrack.