King of California

Nice performances by Evan Rachel Wood and Michael Douglas are hampered by a schmaltzy script and an incredibly manipulative soundtrack. Miranda (Wood) is a down-to-earth 16-year-old who’s been taking care of herself since her father (Douglas) was sent to an insane asylum. But when he returns, he awakens in her a love of life and adventure and trite characterizations of the insane which imply that most people would benefit from the special something that causes the mentally ill to disrupt our society and attempt to kill themselves. If you’re buying it, King is a reasonably decent attempt at this well-worn genre, and the ending is decent, but you have to wade through the tired tropes and forest of clichés.

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