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Friday, August 26, 2011

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 97 - Milk Money (1994)

If U Turn exploited its awkward sexuality, then Milk Money exploits the sexuality of its own characters, which is comprised mostly of young kids.  Milk Money follows a small group of sex-obsessed boys (all far too young to be portrayed this way on screen) who pool their money to hire a prostitute to let them see her naked.  However, things don’t go as planned with the hooker they hire, named V (Melanie Griffith), who does oblige the kids (disturbing) but ends up hiding in the kids’ tree-house on the lam from her vicious pimp, where sparks fly between V and one of the boys’ dad when the kid tells him she’s a tutor.

This is a disturbing film because we are supposed to find these kids salaciousness... funny! Because, yeah, we’ve all biked to the inner city with our friends to pick up a hooker when we were ten years old.  There are countless, COUNTLESS dialogues where the kids watch porno, play with various objects of a sexual nature, and sit and try to "figure out things". These scenes are where the film is at its most uncomfortable. The film thinks the interplay between V and the dad balances out the creepiness but it really doesn’t.  The film goes off the deep end with its comical tone filling scenes with uncomfortable innuendo and gag-inducing sex-centric one-liners.

This is a mess.  If there was ever a more crass and disgusting movie, I’d like someone to find it.  The child stars act like lunatics, or at least like underage rejects from a Porky’s casting call, Ed Harris acts like he's just bored with life, and Melanie Griffith looks as though she’s half-asleep through most of the movie.  The child actors aren't bad, but there isn't anything to set them apart from each other as they all only talk about one thing. The acting is pretty bad all around and while she had a few more major films after Milk Money, Griffith herself never really recovered from this disaster.

This is another in the What-Were-They-Thinking category.  It fails because it’s too crude to be a coming of age drama and it’s too uncomfortable to be a straight-up comedy.  The film’s tone is that of a quirky comedy but it is so awkward and cringe-worthy that it can’t be enjoyed.  The worst part is the tone seems to want us to find all of this endearing.  We’re supposed to find it cute that these kids are going to the city streets to find a prostitute.  Disturbing. This movie is... messed up.

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