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Directed by David Wnendt


November 28, 10:50pm  
Museum of Natural History 1747 Summer Street

If you can imagine Amelie with an anti-hygiene fixation, or Trainspotting where Renton is more inclined toward bodily functions than heroin, you may have a sense of Wetlands. Helen (Carla Juri) is a skateboarder with a healthy sex drive suffering from an anal fissure that puts her in the hospital. She also arranges to have her body hair shaved by a rando and grows an avocado garden. She goes out of her way to seduce her nurse with tales of her adventures. Her quirks are full and lusty, but she's entirely self-possessed. Helen's ambition hinges on her divorced parents reuniting, the result of a childhood where her distracted folks made for a little girl getting careless sunburns, being gifted with the wildly inappropriate novels like Rosemary's Baby and desperate for physical attention. There's more dark history there, and we begin to see the effect of Helen's lingering trauma at the cusp of adulthood, the darkness that lies behind her desperation to see her parents happy together. It's an interesting balancing act, how the film spans the comedy provocations to genuine drama. Wetlands is deft in its character work, and it helps that Juri has a stellar presence. The delightful lack of squeamishness around blood, sex, drugs, bowel movements and ejaculate on pizza may be hard to take for the more sensitive soul, but we're all adults here. And so few movies we get to see these days are intended for adults.

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