Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rocket Science (2007)

This is a story about a young boy with a stuttering problem finding his voice, who knew it would be the voice of anger and revenge? 15-year-old Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson) is an outsider both at home and at school. He has a terrible stutter and doesn't know how to overcome it and find a way to fit in somewhere. He meets and falls in love with the star of the high school debate team, Ginny Reyerson (Anna Kendrick), and even joins the team due to his crush's urging. All is bound to not go well, especially with her intense drive to win and his intense love for her.

Reece Thompson and Anna Kendrick in ye olde cheese wagon

Everything about this movie is completely irreverent - the characters, the story and even the music. Have I mentioned how I love irreverent? Plus, all of the young actors are amazingly good and the script is pretty darn tight too. At first, the story is hard to follow, then you think it might be meandering, but once the surprise "evil plot" in the film is uncovered you realize the story has all been leading up to the unveiling. Very cool.

I love the conversation that is taking place in the scene the above picture is taken from. Ginny is telling Hal about how she was identified a few years ago as having debate potential and as such, she must strive to ferret out other folks that have similar talent and she believes Hal is such a person. She sums it up with, "I ferreted you".

The downside of this is that even though this is completely original and not predictable, about halfway through I had the eerie feeling I was sitting through a Wes Anderson film. I don't think that is really the fault of the writer/director Jeffrey Blitz. I doubt that he sat down with the idea of ripping off a Wes Anderson film, but yet, it is unmistakable how similar it is to the feeling of "Rushmore" or "Royal Tenenbaums".

Overall I would say this is very quirky, very irreverent and funny so your funny bone definitely needs to lean in the quirky/irreverent direction to appreciate this one. Needless to say, if you like Wes Anderson films, you will love this one.

No comments: