|Directed by||Alan Ball|
|Produced by||Alan Ball
Steven M. Rales
|Screenplay by||Alan Ball|
by Alicia Erian
|Music by||Thomas Newman|
|Cinematography||Newton Thomas Sigel|
|Editing by||Andy Keir|
|Studio||Scott Rudin Productions
This is that
|Distributed by||Warner Independent Pictures|
|Running time||124 minutes|
Towelhead (alternatively titled Nothing is Private) is a 2007 comedy-drama film written and directed by Alan Ball and based on Alicia Erian's novel of the same name. The film made its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on September 8, 2007 under the name Nothing is Private. The film, like the book, touches on issues of sexual awakening, privacy, and race.
Set in 1990 amidst the Kuwait War of 1990-91, Towelhead tells the coming-of-age story of a 13-year-old Lebanese American girl named Jasira (Summer Bishil). She first lives with her mother in Syracuse, New York, but when her mother's live-in boyfriend helps Jasira shave her pubic hair, her mother sends Jasira to live with her old-fashioned and domineering Lebanese father Rifat (Peter Macdissi) in suburban Houston, Texas. There, Jasira experiences a sexual awakening, sparked in part by the adult magazines she finds when baby-sitting the next-door neighbor boy Zack Vuoso (Chase Ellison).
Jasira is alienated from her father: he is strict and does not allow her to use tampons; also he prefers spending time with his new girlfriend rather than with her. She has mixed feelings about Zach's father Mr. Vuoso (Aaron Eckhart). She prefers her classmate Thomas Bradley (Eugene Jones), who is sexually interested in her, but does not act without permission. She then goes on to be sexually active with him. Nevertheless she accepts when Mr. Vuoso, pretending he has to go to Iraq the next morning, asks to have sex with her.
A female neighbor, Melina (Toni Collette), offers Jasira her home as a refuge, and Jasira hides there when her father beats her upon finding out that she had an adult magazine, given to her by Vuoso. Eventually, she tells her father and the neighbors about having sex with Mr. Vuoso, and he is arrested for rape.
- Aaron Eckhart as Travis Vuoso
- Toni Collette as Melina
- Maria Bello as Gail Monahan
- Peter Macdissi as Rifat Maroun
- Summer Bishil as Jasira Maroun
- Matt Letscher as Gil Hines
- Chase Ellison as Zack Vuoso
- Carrie Preston as Mrs. Vuoso
- Lynn Collins as Thena
- Shari Headley as Mrs. Bradley
- Irina Voronina as "Snow Queen" Centerfold
- Randy Goodwin as Mr. Bradley
Towelhead received mixed reviews from critics; Rotten Tomatoes reports that 48% of critics have given the film a positive review, based on 107 reviews, with an 5.3 out of 10 review average and the consensus that "[t]his story of politics, race and, sexual awakening has moments that pack a punch, but overall, Towelhead never quite achieves the nuance of helmer Alan Ball's television work." The film also holds a score of 57 on the review aggregator website Metacritic.
- "Towelhead Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2009-06-26.
- "Towelhead (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-06-26.