Inventing The Abbotts

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Inventing The Abbotts

Pretty people have problems, too. That's the lesson to be gleaned from this impossibly glamorized coming-of-age melodrama in which two hunky brothers from the wrong side of the tracks—it's the sort of script that actually has its characters speaking of themselves as being from the wrong side of the tracks—seem to spend all their waking moments thinking about getting it on with the three daughters of their rich neighbors. But the girls' cruel dad has plans to keep the Abbott clan untainted by wrong-side-of-the-tracks bodily fluids, explicitly warning one to, "Keep your poor-boy dick out of my daughter!" See, pretty people have problems too, even if they look great in those '50s clothes. Inventing The Abbotts is the type of film which conveys the emotions of its characters by varying the state of their hair, and sets up a hard-working loving mother for the sole purpose of having her die touchingly in the final reel. The members of its young cast (Jennifer Connelly, Joaquin Phoenix, Liv Tyler) have all shown promise elsewhere, but don't really get to do much but look attractive and troubled here. They may be stars, but as long as they keep treading water in bland stuff like this, the world may never know.