Written and Directed by
Kaitlin Morgan, Harrison Boxley, Courtney Rackley, Tracey Collins, Jon Boatwright, Julia Putnam
Set in 1975, Michelle Boyaner's The Bedwetter is a quirky coming-of-age story centered around 11-year-old tomboyish Shelly (Kaitlin Morgan). Shelly still wets the bed (Duh!), gets bullied at school and is having to deal with her new mom (Courtney Rackley), a beautiful former stewardess who wants to throw her a birthday party/sleepover.
While Boyaner could have easily taken the easy route by finding cheap humor in Shelly's bedwetting, she instead turns The Bedwetter into a richly human, lightly funny and heartwarming story that satisfies on a much deeper level.
While The Bedwetter doesn't avoid laughs, it finds its humor within the humanity of the characters rather than at the expense of the characters. There is a gentle humor that flows out of watching Shelly fight her daily battle to hide her secret, under the semi-watchful eye of a local good-hearted homeless woman (Tracey Collins) and her best friend (Harrison Boxley).
Who knows? Maybe even that beauty queen mom of hers just might understand.
Painted in vibrant 70's style pastels, from costuming to production design, The Bedwetter has the look and feel of an old episode of The Wonder Years if, well, the Fred Savage-led series had gotten quite a bit edgier in its material.
Jane Ford's original score complements the film quite nicely, while D.P. Barbara Green maintains the film's quirky sensibility without ever losing touch with the vulnerable humanity of the story.
Kaitlin Morgan is an understated joy as young Shelly giving a performance remiscent of Abigail Breslin's in Little Miss Sunshine, while supporting players Harrison Boxley, Courtney Rackley and Julia Putnam, as one of Shelley's classmates with whom she shares a bit of a crush, are particular stand-outs.
The Bedwetter is an official selection of the 2010 Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival and will be playing in a collection of youth-centered shorts on Saturday, November 13th at 12:30 pm at The Toby, Indianapolis Museum of Art.