Indie Gems: Lawn Dogs
When innocence can be a dangerous thing.
Watching The Way Way Back put me in a bit of a Sam Rockwell kick, and it got me thinking about a film I'd seen so many years ago with him in it. Lawn Dogs.
Devon (Mischa Barton) is a lonely 10 year old that moves with her parents into an upscale housing development. She doesn't quite fit in, so she takes up an unlikely friendship with a 21 year old named Trent. (Sam Rockwell) he mows the yards in her neighborhood, and lives in a trailer in the woods. Her family would call him trashy, so of course she's intrigued. Though their relationship is completely innocent, it's obvious that others will not see it that way.
I remember being quite fascinated by this movie as a kid. It was always on TV, but I was too afraid to tape it because I thought my parents would find it inappropriate. Which is kind of funny, since that's the theme of the entire movie. Trent is obviously uncomfortable with Devon showing up at his place at first, and what adult wouldn't be? Devon is too young to understand that this is wrong, but when something very wrong DOES happen to her, and her parents choose to ignore that, and focus on Trent, that's when Devon does a lot of growing up and a little amount of time.
Despite my nerves being fried over this as a kid, this isn't a hard movie to watch. It has its uncomfortable moments, sure, but it certainly is a great little film to find. (and if you want to find it yourself, the whole film is currently on Youtube.) Rockwell is amazing as always, and Mischa Barton was actually quite a good actress until she did the O.C. It's funny to compare them as actors now. This is probably Mischa's best performance, and it's certainly in the top 5 on Rockwell's list. (Moon is his best, IMO)
Memorable Quote: "This is my river! You hear me?" - Devon (Mischa Barton)