Directed by Glenn Gers
Opens July 18, Two Boots Pioneer
Disfigured hangs a lot of heavy issues on a rickety, too-cute premise: A fat woman, Lydia (Deidra Edwards), becomes friends with an anorexic, Darcy (Staci Lawrence). The women meet at a bizarrely judgmental body-acceptance support group—Lydia is shunned because she wants to start a walking club, Darcy because she is not fat enough—and form their own informal group of two to discuss the undiscussable (in between hugs and sleepovers, Darcy tells Lydia that her body is disgusting, while Lydia tells Darcy that she is dry and shriveled up). Most disturbingly, the beautiful and seemingly well-adjusted Lydia asks Darcy to help her become anorexic, and Darcy happily complies, combing her friend's cupboards for traces of fatty foods, and sleeping on her couch to make sure she doesn't snack at night. Throughout the film, Darcy's motivations remain opaque, while Lydia's are transparent but pathetic. Writer-director Glenn Gers, to his credit, is never tempted to reduce his characters to one-liners—this is no Shallow Hal—and he doesn't try to water down the complexity of the problems he explores, but he could have stood to be a little clearer about where he and his characters stand: Nearly every scene between the women is awkward, ambiguous, and overloaded with platitudes and pregnant pauses.