- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2001

Lea Pool, a Frenchwoman whose French output has been confined to festival exposure in the United States, makes her feature debut with "Lost and Delirious," an English-language production that simulates the sylvan location of a girls prep school in Ontario.
Called Perkins College, it remains strictly perfunctory as a scholastic setting. What really matters is the premature lurid potential in a teen-age lesbian romance, discovered raging in an attic room when despondent freshman newcomer Mary "Mouse" Bradford (Mischa Barton) observes the erotic activism of senior roomies Pauline "Paulie" Oster (Piper Perabo), a budding psychopath, and Victoria "Tory" Moller (Jessica Pare), a budding hypocrite.
Evidently, no one at Perkins is permitted to request room reassignments. Tory herself seems a candidate once she attempts to cool it with lunatic Paulie, such a rebel that she has a Che Guevara banner over her bed (seldom occupied because she's usually diving under Tory's covers), sasses the faculty without fear of reprisal, keeps a pet falcon in the neighboring forest and swears by the motto "Rage more."
I kind of suspected I would despise Paulie as soon as she spiked the punch at a school reception. Her inadvertent comedy value as a baby blowhard softened the prejudice, although sheer expediency seemed to prevent her from being expelled about 50 times before the denouement, which turns Paulie into a supernatural fugitive from justice and mere human society. Miss Pool is mostly to blame for the fact that Miss Perabo is reduced to a laughingstock while asserting herself as the renegade and despotic Paulie.
I'm as willing as the next man to humor lesbian prurience for the sake of cinematic art, but the circumstances that prevail in "Lost and Delirious" are too grotesque to qualify as diverting titillation.



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