Hello, Spongey here. Welcome to DCOM-cember!
For my first entry, I picked one from the year 2000 that some may remember, but seems to have mostly fallen into obscurity. And once you learn who stars, (and guest stars), that fact may shock you.
Who stars? Well, remember Kimberly J Brown from the Halloweentown series? Well, 2 years after the first one, but before part 2, she did another DCOM as well. It obviously hyped in it’s time for whatever reason, this film of hers isn’t as remembered as much as Halloweentown/
Let’s dive in and so if it deserves to be remembered.
This, is Quints!
Jamie Grover (Kimberly J. Brown) is an only child who resents the constant attention her parents give her. Her wish is finally granted when her mother becomes pregnant. When her mother gives birth to quintuplets Jamie’s life changes dramatically…and Hilarity ensues!
I’ve known about this movie for a while, but I had never given it much thought. Not in a bad away, of course. It just seemed like the kind of story where a kid who gets a lot of attention gets a new baby who sucks up all the attention and yada yada yada.
Well, it kind if that…but they also spin it in a new way that makes it pretty cool. I really enjoyed the hell out of this movie, more than I thought I would. And it all centers around Jamie and Brown’s performance.
Right from the start, she talks to the camera, breaks the 4th wall, and keeps fooling us with imagine spots and “plot twists” that she sometimes scolds you for being fooled by. The movie even flat out ends by using this subject the cliché ending this type of movie would end on.
She is insanely funny and likable. She gets some hilarious lines, not only in the 4th wall bits, but also parts with her parents and friends. She not only works well with the comedy, but also pulls off the drama very well later on.
I was surprised at how much she flat out carries this movie. And even when the more overt humor goes down in the 2nd half, she (and the film) provide enjoyment.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First off, I like how they deal with some of these cliches. For one, Jamie actually already has attention and doesn’t like it. She tries hard in school it doesn’t pay 100 percent, and she isn’t sure of what to do with her life. However, her parents aren’t being hardasses about her grades and all that, and the attention she gets isn’t overbearing or flat out negative.
Which did confuse me a bit since she kind of acts like it more negative, but I can forgive that. When she hears about the Quints, she is glad as the babies take can up the attention. But she actually rather likes the babies themselves, as she remembers their individual names and sticks up for them as 5 people, not just one unit.
There’s much this movie gets right, and this character is at the center of it. This not just a movie about dealing with too many babies, it’s actually a story about finding yourself, and as corny as that it sounds, it works.
And again, Kimberly J Brown adds to all of this. This may sound like Blasphemy, but at times she almost outclasses her work in Halloweentown. Yeah, I know but there’s a Scene I may mention later that could get you on my page.
The movie also does a good job at getting you into the family’s shoes. When the babies cause financial and other such troubles, you see all of it and while it isn’t too original, they don’t sugar coat it either.
Speaking of original, it does hit some of the notes you would expect. Marnie-er I mean Jamie does start wanting the attention back, and this dude named Albert starts marketing the quints and serves as a kind of villain, but he isn’t a flat out douche until maybe the end.
And that end bit isn’t too huge of a turn, as cliché as it kind of is. I also like that he parents don’t market the quints just to get famous. It’s just kind of thrust upon them, as they are the first people in the state of….Lousitextucky to have Quints.
It’s a tad odd but it adds to the goofy tone at points. Heck, at the end they end up getting the “Parent of the year” award and meet with the Governor, played by Don Knotts. No, really.
I didn’t even know they actually had parent of the year stuff. I just thought it was a phrase snarky people like me could use. This isn’t a flaw with the film, it’s an odd thing I’m making fun of.
But you if you want flaws, here are a few: There are two climatic scenes, both of which are a tad cliché but both work fine. However, they could have toned down one so there can be just one proper climax.
The first one has one baby,. Adam getting an odd case of PCD that puts the parents care for the individual kids to the taste. I found this bit a tiny bit forced, even if it does lead to a sweet confrontation with Jamie and the parents. The 2nd climax that follows has the parents forgetting that the governor wanted the Quints at the parent of the year thingy and thus left them at home with Jamie. So a chase to get the quints there ensues.
A bit forced but again it’s fun. Also, I love Governor Don Knots for how seriously he takes this. Anyway, near the end does it get a bit of that “typical” feel but it does keep that freshness. Though I would have liked a more feel good ending, the final joke is good enough to make up for it.
I’m going a bit faster than usual cuz…well I don’t want to repeat what happened what Fright fest, and take a week writing this. But I suppose I’ll briefly go over the other characters, cuz there thankfully aren’t too many.
There’s the chick friend, Zoe the dude friend Brad, and the teacher. …And that’s it. The former two don’t have a ton of personality, but they hold their own with some funny lines, and Brad even has a pretty awesome moment near the end. The teacher helps Jamie with her personal issues, and again, he’s actually pretty funny.
But let’s get into the meat of the story. Jamie is having trouble with school and has no idea what she wants. The teacher winds up putting her in art club, and she finds out she has a surprising knack for that over science, which had tried previously.
She winds up finding about herself, and of course she’s worried about what her parents would think about the change in plans. There is an eventual moral about finding your own path and all that, but they manage to make it through the humor and some serious good scenes.
Here’s one example: After it seems like Jamie finally got her parents to understand after some rocky stuff, and she tells her about a big art show she is…things go back to square one. Right after they agree to show up, they get invented to the governor thing…which on the same day, and they jump to do that instead with thinking.
This…really tears her apart and ends up going a bit of rage and crying about it. This was a damn effective scene and it works far better on screen than my summary. Another good scene is when the parents don’t show up to the parent teacher conference, and Jamie looks pretty beaten down about it. Wonderful stuff.
It’s stuff like that which really adds to the movie. I realize how kind of not-original this is in the long run, but I feel that overall, the fresh bits they have make for it. Not to mention the funny humor and KJB’s excellent performance.
And now we’re at the point where I’m out of things to say. I wanted to keep these short so I can do more, and that’s what I am doing here.
If you think I missed a ton of shit, or didn’t go into much detail, tough titties. Like with any normal review, I’ll mention what I think.
Well, there is one more thing to mention: The chick who played Zoe was also Raven’s replacement in Zenon 2, and she in The color of friendship. ..And she was also in the Goosebumps episode night of the living dummy 2.
I had to bring it up.
Overall, this movie is pretty good. It’s not the most original or even as good as say Smart house, but it’s pretty solid. The whole thing with Jamie finding herself is pretty good, the characters are likable, the clichés work in its favor, and the main character is very funny and charming.
Its only drawback is its own limitation and small nitpick-y flaws. But overall, it’s a solid DCOM and a pretty underrated one. I say check it out. Like I said, I’m cutting this one short for you all.
This is a DCOM worth watching for the humor, heart and all that. It’s not perfect, but given what I expected, this was a pleasant surprise. Check it out.
So there’s my short first post. I’m not numbering these cuz…meh, I want it to be easier for blog newbies I guess. So that’s the end of this one, come in next time for more DCOm…fun?