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Movie

Released 1999

Starring: Adrian Grenier, Clark Gregg, Aleksa Palladino

Director: Tod Williams

Awards: An official selection of the 1999 Sundance Film Festival

The Adventures of Sebastian Cole is an interesting independent film about the life of a young teenager, Sebastian Cole who lives with his step-dad who is in the proces of having a sex-chage (i.e. hormone therapy. It is 1983 and the boy wishes to be a writer but first decides he must live a little, as such, he has his adventures. Sebastian deals with a variety of problems that are often the central plots of other movies. These include the damsel in distress, a desire to be free, a dysfunctional family, and a troubled romance. The movie attempts to be a modern Catcher in the Rye, but falls short. But the movie's quirky plot is enjoyable because is an interesting look in to the often insane nature of people's daily lives.

The above writeup not only overlooks a few facts about the movie, it also includes a major inaccuracy.

Caution: Do not read if you have yet to see the film.

It begins with a car accident, heard and not seen. The audience sees Sebastian, face bloody, staring at a picture of what is assumed to be his family. The rest of the film actually occurs as a flashback, unbeknownst to the viewer until the very end.

Sebastian lives with his mother and step-father, Hank, who informs his family that, although he is still in love with Sebastian's mother, he would like to become a woman. Sebastian's sister and mother do not react well to the news, but Sebastian is indifferent at best, as he seems to be to almost everything that happens throughout the course of the film, until the very end.

Sebastian moves to England with his mother, only to return to America to live with Hank, who now dons women's clothing and calls himself Henrietta. The majority of the action of the film takes place during this point in their lives. This is where Sebastian's dysfunctional family, troubled romance, struggle for independence, and desire to experience life to become a writer unfolds in front of the viewer's eyes.

doubleb747's main mistake is that the stepfather, Hank, does not have the sex-change operation until the very end of the film. The film then turns into a heartwrencher, for when Sebastian calls the clinic to check on Hank, he learns that he died during the first part of the operation, a risk he knew was very possible.

Sebastian becomes extremely emotional, something that has not been witnessed throughout the rest of the film, and the film comes full circle as he drives away, and again, the car accident is heard, although this time the viewer actually sees what happens.

This is a witty, humorous but dark, eclectic independent film about growing up, albeit under different circumstances than the average American, and is far from being just another teen movie.

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