“Pumpkin” accomplishes what it so painstakingly sets out to do straight from the beginning and it does it so well, it inevitably clicked with me and became one of the worst movies ever made. “Pumpkin” is often a very malicious and close-minded film which tells the tale of a popularity queen and sorority sister Carolyn McDuffy who is helping her sorority house gain two new members for the trophy of best sorority. In doing so, they agree to take on a charity helping to train mentally disabled youngsters in training for the special Olympics. The people presented in the film are close-minded as the story is; they call their two new members minority members and they always refer to the only minority in the house with the word “Even” before her name.
At one point when one of the sisters is suggesting to Kent which girls he can take to the social besides Carolyn, she runs through all the girls and continues to the Asian girl: “You can even take her.” The girls are very disgusted with their partners at first, one girl (Dominique Swain) even runs away screaming, and Carolyn freaks out once Pumpkin falls on her. Pumpkin, a mentally disabled boy is instantly in love with Carolyn and though his debilitating disease is never truly identified, he manages to become healthier, at first standing on his own will from his wheel chair and then soon driving to see her. His alcoholic over-protective mother is clearly upset by his transformation and begins striking against Carolyn. Christina Ricci’s character soon finds she cannot get Pumpkin out of her mind and instantly falls for him. Though Carolyn has good intentions, it’s thwarted by her sheer and utter stupidity in which she just continues offending people left and right with her narrow-mindedness.
The film touches upon that topic and that type of people, however, where the film attempts to be comical and a farce it manages to become equally offensive and very crude in its delivery. The film rides upon this shallow and utterly annoying theme of self-absorption and becomes so utterly pretentious and vain in its attempts to seem like a superior comedy effort. It’s clearly not humorous and manages to draw numerous groan after groan. It attempts to be funny while making the audience feel stupid if they’re not laughing or don’t find any of it humorous. The climax and “plot twist” of the film is so blatant in its attempts to spark irony and clear poetic justice but instead is so awful and clearly such a ridiculous attempt to become even more of a smart film never really achieving what it tries so desperately to do and continues raising the bar for pretension. The last moments of the film don’t truly make any bit of sense unless it tries to redeem itself with its clearly annoying attempt at sentiment but fails yet again. Crude, ridiculous, and painfully unfunny, “Pumpkin” is one of the worst films of 2002.