The Blue Tooth Virgin (2008)
★★★ / ★★★★
Sam (Austin Peck), a screenplay writer, invites his friend David (Bryce Johnson), a magazine editor, to meet up because he has great news: his most recent work, titled “The Blue Tooth Virgin” about a girl who has the ability to morph into another body, is finished. Sam is very interested to know what a non-screenwriter thinks about his screenplay, so he hands David a copy. Despite Sam’s circle of friends telling him that the draft is nothing short of brilliant, David thinks that it is a complete mess and chooses to tell Sam the truth.
Written and directed by Russell Brown, “The Blue Tooth Virgin” tackles an issue that we can all relate to and it is able to offer several messages about what it means to be a friend versus a critic, an impartial versus a personal criticism, and the struggle between genuinely feeling happy for a friend and wrestling against the pangs of jealousy.
The picture’s acting requires a little bit of getting used to. When Sam and David meet at the cafe, they are supposed to be friends, considering that one is comfortable enough to ask for what the other really thinks about his work, but the way certain lines are delivered feels forced at times. Somewhere around the middle, there is a sudden shift. Peck and Johnson are more natural and it is more comfortable to watch.
A handful of scenes are effortlessly funny. For instance, when Sam asks David about, specifically, what he likes or dislikes about the script while playing golf, David keeps using the word “unique” and misses the hole every time he swings the club. Just as quickly, the laughs are overshadowed by a more somber tone. As Sam realizes that his friend does not like his script at all, hurt and embarrassment are drawn all over his face and body language. There is a level of honesty. All of us have given criticisms, constructive as well as malicious. Once we put our opinion out there and the person receiving feedback does not like what we have to say, the situation becomes awkward and uncomfortable. Sometimes that’s friendship and it’s not always easy.
I enjoyed watching the way the protagonists complement each other. There is a progression in the way small things–like Sam and David coming from different financial situations, age, and relationship status–affect their definition of passion whether it be about work or what interests them on their spare time. My favorite scene is when David meets with Dr. Christopher (Roma Maffia), a psychologist, because he wants to know the source of his writer’s block. It is unlike mainstream therapy sessions often featured in the movies. Painful truths are spoken about the way people think and behave and yet there is a fitting message underneath it.
I wished there were more scenes shared between them because they do not hold back, unlike what Sam and David have. “The Blue Tooth Virgin” asks if a friendship is still worth saving when it has turned rotten from the inside. If so, at what point do we owe it to ourselves, and to each other, to just call it quits?