Crime + Punishment In Suburbia

By MATTHEW BOND, Mail on Sunday

Crime + Punishment In Suburbia is a low-budget film apparently 'loosely inspired' by Dostoevsky's novel and certainly sharing at least one thing in common. They both seem endless.

It is narrated by one of those terminally gloomy teenage boys that American film-makers seem so keen on. He tells us about his unrequited love for Rosanne, who lives at home with her blowzy mother and boozy stepfather and is stepping out with Jimmy, the school football hunk.

All is only mildly dysfunctional until Rosanne's mother (a cruelly wasted Ellen Barkin) finds a new love and moves out, improbably leaving her daughter in the clutches of her drunken stepfather.

The nasty and inevitable duly happens, leaving the newly defiled Rosanne with only one means of revenge: murder.

There are echoes of American Beauty for film students to argue over, but for the rest of us it's no fun at all.

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