Edge

Thumbsucking not as gratifying as in childhood

I’m sure there’s a little child in all of us, one who yearns for the comfort of parental subservience, the absence of responsibility or the simple gratification of sucking your thumb. If you’re reading this and nodding your head, then maybe it’s time for you to meet Justin Cobb.

Justin (Lou Pucci) is an exiled teenager. He doesn’t have or feel that he has a place in the world. Justin is a thumbsucker. All of his problems and worries seem to be solved through the simple pleasure of putting his thumb in his mouth. Through worrying and a feeling of separation (and maybe even guilt), Justin’s parents put their son on Ritalin after he was diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder. In the wake of his drug use, Justin finds confidence in himself. We watch as he climbs the ladder to the top of his speech and debate team, for which he felt out of place before.

It doesn’t take long for things to spiral out of control when Justin learns that Ritalin is “just another form of speed.” Soon after he gives up the Ritalin, he turns to pot. Whether or not the pot is an escape for him or a pathway to the girl on his speech and debate team is overlooked and never answered. In fact, we don’t really get too many questions in general. The movie presents a lot of concerns with the idea of a medicated society but it never takes it beyond the setup.

Is the film criticizing Ritalin, marijuana or drugs in general? I don’t know. I’m not even sure the filmmaker knows, which allows for a pretty pointless experience.

Writer-director Mike Mills’ world is a world where everyone is screwed up. We all have problems and worries. So the question that arises is, why don’t we just drown ourselves in drugs to help our attention, appease depression or to simply fit-in? Since the movie failed to present an answer to its own question, I’ll shed some light on it myself. Maybe it’s because we should be able to overcome these obstacles ourselves. Relying on drugs to solve our problems is as childish as sucking your thumb. That sounds like a neat theme for a movie.

Danny Gordon can be contacted at d.gordon@umiami.edu.

October 18, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Boston College star Ky Bowman came down with a 102-degree fever on Saturday night. Jordan Chatman an ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Sunday: ▪ New UM defensive coordinator Blake Baker has asked UM ...

Emese Hof and No. 20 Miami think they can play with anyone, and it shows. Hof scored 18 of her 25 po ...

New University of Miami baseball head coach Gino DiMare wanted to start strong. He got perfection. T ...

Former University of Miami star running back Mark Walton was arrested late Friday on a charge of mis ...

UM alumna Alina Mayo Azze, who has covered a myriad of topics during her 37-year career, has been a ...

Happiness and well-being scholar Tal Ben-Shahar is UM’s newest Distinguished Presidential Scholar. ...

The University of Miami will host the first symposium to explore LGBTQ human rights across the Ameri ...

UM experts react to a new ban that prohibits people in Key West from using certain types of sunscree ...

A matchmaker extraordinaire, Ricardo Cepeda, the manager of the UM Zebrafish Facility, is passionate ...

The No. 20 Miami women's basketball team stormed back from a 14-point deficit to pick up the bi ...

Brian Van Belle struck out five over six shutout innings to help the Canes sweep Rutgers on opening ...

The Hurricanes dropped a tight contest with the Eagles in Chestnut Hill, 64-57. ...

The sophomore first baseman slugged his second homer of the weekend to lead the Canes to a series wi ...

Junior Renate Grimstad led the way for Miami and is tied for 18th at one-over-par, while sophomore K ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.