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After a year on the festival circuit, where it was originally called Nothing Is Private, this debut feature by Alan Ball finally arrives in theaters sharing the nervier title of its source novel by Alicia Eran. It follows the sexual and gender awakening of an Arab-American teen (Summer Bishil) as she tries to survive the racial repercussions of the Persian Gulf war in a Houston suburb; living in a tract house with her sexist Lebanese father (Peter Macdissi), she becomes the object of a tug-of-war between one next-door neighbor, a new age feminist (Toni Collette), and the other, a leering good ol' boy who wants to get in her pants (Aaron Eckhart). Ball won an Oscar for scripting American Beauty (2000) and went on to create the HBO series Six Feet Under, but as a director he amplifies the flaws in his own writing; his supporting characters are too broadly pitched to take seriously, and he tends to smack you in the face with the point of every scene. R, 124 min.

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