Thursday, May 5, 2011

Teeth (2007)

With a movie like Teeth, you can never be quite sure what you're getting. It's a great premise, but its outrageousness puts it at risk for being a low quality or comedic affair. Teeth starts out as being pretty bad, but once you settle into it, it becomes hilariously awkward. After I got over its general badness, I found myself being entertained.

The lead, a high school student and staunch abstinence crusader who discovers (intially to her horror) that she possesses vagina dentata, straddles the line between being average and pretty in a curious way, but her charisma sells the movie. She wears these hilarious anti-sex shirts ("WARNING! Sex changes everything") that I would love to wear ironically. I'm not even sure there's any merit in going into the morals of this movie (the inefficacy and general hypocrisy of promise ring crusades, the feminist underpinnings and misandry of male violence/female retaliation), because the film doesn't seem to take itself seriously enough; it's more of a 'sit back and enjoy' kind of affair.

As for the nudity, I was rather surprised by the emphasis on male nudity. The film's approach in this respect can be summed up by the scene where the sex ed teacher, after discussing the penis in detail (complete with diagrams), is incapable of even speaking the proper name for the "female privates", and the students all turn the page to find that a huge sticker has been systematically placed in their textbooks censoring the diagram of the female (but not the male) genital diagram. With one half-assed exception, you see lots of penii, but no real female nudity at all - and certainly not the titular orifice. I wonder if that has anything to do with the suspicion that this is a "feminist" movie and may either a) be targeted towards a female audience or b) be calculated to piss off exactly the type of macho homophobic males that typically perpetrate the sort of sexual violence the lead in this film is equipped to defend herself against (once she gets the hang of it).

But if there's an up side to this girl's gift, it's that she's still perfectly capable of being a stunning lay, as one romantic scene shows (until a bomb is dropped and the shit hits the fan) - she just has to want it. Which, for most men, is probably asking too much, but for a guy like me, that sounds just about right. And I guess that's the moral that counts, in the end.

(Though, as the one character's fate demonstrates, waiting patiently for years won't make a difference if you are, however, a supreme douchebag.)

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