RUNNING WITH SCISSORS: It’s no Royal Tenenbaums
Here’s a new genre: abused gay youth with crazy mother seeks redemption by telling us all about it. It’s drawn from real life, genuinely so in the case of Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation, falsely in J.T. Leroy’s The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, and somewhere in between in Augusten Burroughs’s Running with Scissors, or so recent lawsuits suggest. True or not, Burroughs’s book compensates for its narcissism with absurdity. Not so Ryan Murphy’s adaptation; he’s tone deaf, and the performances take themselves too seriously. Joseph Cross as the 15-year-old hero growing up in a psychiatrist’s loony household is gratingly unremarkable. Annette Bening is a misogynist’s delight as the vain, deluded, irresponsible mother. And Brian Cox is surprisingly dull as the demented Doctor Finch. Worst, though, is Gwyneth Paltrow as Finch’s doting daughter, if only because she’s a reminder of a truly crazy movie family, the Royal Tenenbaums.
On the Web
Running with Scissors's Web site:http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/runningwithscissors/index.html