Tadpole:Miramax Films
EW Staff
April 18, 2002 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Tadpole

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
77 minutes
Limited Release Date
07/19/02
performer
John Ritter, Aaron Stanford, Sigourney Weaver, Robert Iler, Bebe Neuwirth, Ron Rifkin
director
Gary Winick
distributor
Miramax
author
Heather McGowan, Niels Mueller
genre
Drama, Comedy

We gave it an B+

Sundance is not the real world. There’s no need to look further than ”Happy, Texas” to be reminded that the same crowds who get knocked off their feet in the mountains of Utah can kick a film in the keister back at sea level. This year’s high-altitude darling — and the object of the festival’s hottest bidding war — was ”Tadpole,” which was eventually snapped up by Miramax for $5 million. And aside from the fact that the tiny screwball romantic comedy was shot on digital video (and at times looks like it was shot on wax paper), it feels like a safer bet than ”Happy, Texas” turned out to be.

Newcomer Stanford plays Oscar Grubman, a precocious prep-schooler who spouts Voltaire and affects the same doomed-romantic pose as ”Rushmore”’s Max Fischer. When Max, uh, Oscar returns home to Manhattan to spend the holidays with his remarried father (Ritter), he decides to act on his unhealthy attraction to his stepmom (Weaver). It doesn’t help that he drowns his unrequited sorrows and winds up stumbling into bed with his stepmom’s frisky best friend (Neuwirth). Brags Stanford: ”I got to kiss Sigourney Weaver and Bebe Neuwirth on my first film! Come on, what’s not to like about acting?”

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