Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Rage in Placid Lake

The Rage in Placid Lake is a delightful comedy. It inverts a lots of mores of traditional comedy and thus manages to stand apart.

Placid Lake has been brought up by hippy, non-conformist parents. On his first day of school he’s sent wearing a girl’s dress so that he can “challenge the internalized notions of sexuality” in his classmates. Needless to say, it doesn’t bode too well for him. But he turns out all right.

He is taught to see the positive side in all things. So as a high-schooler he manages to do the hottest girl in the class by confounding her with feminist jargon and making her feel good about her inadequate self. And despite getting regular beatings from the class bullies, he never lets them feel that they’ve gotten better of him.

But things take a one-eighty-degrees turn when, in an attempt to escape a beating from these bullies, he jumps off the roof and breaks every single bone in his body. He undergoes a long period of introspection during his time in the hospital and decides that he would live a “normal” life from now on.

He gets out, gets a job with an insurance company and starts to doing his office colleague. And for the first time in his life, completely freaks his parents out. He also freaks out his high-school friend, Gemma. In a series comic adventures, Placid realizes that conformism isn’t really for him, but neither is the textbook non-conformism which only becomes conformism of a different kind.

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