”Thumbsucker”is about Justin Cobb (Lou Pucci), a teenager who still sucks his thumb. Realizing it’s totally disrupting his home, love and school life, he allows his orthodontist (Keanu Reeves) to break him of the habit through hypnosis. Justin begins to experiment with prescription drugs and sex as alternate means to overcome his anxieties and become “normal,” never realizing normal is just a state of mind. – from the back cover
It’s based on a book of the same name that I have not read but the film, to me, is about self-discovery and finding one’s place in the world. It does a great job of telling a universal tale. Lou Pucci gives a quirky performance, as he is the most inexperienced of the cast. Although it uses ordinary situations in life it is a little heady and the average viewer may not get most of the messages.
From the beginning to the end of ”Thumbsucker” Justin is trying to find himself. He is using his thump as his coping mechanism on his journey of self-discovery. As he comes to see his thumb sucking as disruption to his life he uses hypnosis, drugs, and sex to cope on his way to finding his place in the world.
Lou Pucci in his first major film carries this film and you can identify with his journey, as every adult has to make it in his or her life. His performance is quirky and seems real. He looks to have a bright future ahead of him. Some major character actors in Hollywood support him and he holds his own in every scene with them.
Most of the subtext in the film eluded me the first time I watched it. It took another viewing to get them. Even if you don’t get them this is an enjoyable indie film. This is a polished stone that if it were a little more cut, would have been able to market to the masses.
I give it 3/5 Gs.