Conor Donovan, Jesse Camacho, Zoe Weizenbaum
Leonard: Coach, why are you doing this for me?
Coach: Cause I’ve never met a child so out of shape in my life…
The movie follows the lives of 3 friends who are dealing with the death of one of their best friends, Rudy. Jacob (Donovan), Rudy’s brother, deals with his family’s grief and overwhelming feelings of needing revenge. Leonard (Camacho) is overweight, like the rest of his family, and wants to turn his health around while he still can. Malee (Weizenbaum) is a young girl – dealing with her father having abandoned her – who develops an inappropriate crush on an older man.
This movie was an odd one. It seemed a little all over the place at times. We start with a very tragic opening sequence, but then the movie tries to settle into a more light hearted, comedic tone. Then it gets downright uncomfortable with the Lolita-esque scenes of a 12 year old girl trying to seduce a grown man. Finally, it circles back around to dark tragedy again. At least it’s unpredictable!
I enjoyed the light hearted moments more than the rest of it I think. One tragic scene involving a child can provide impetus to the rest of the events in the movie, but when these kids keep going through miserable experience after miserable experience, it’s just not much fun to watch.
The actors all do a fine job, especially the kids. Zoe Weizenbaum in particular had to put herself in a lot of tough, often embarrassing, situations, and she was believable in all of them. It seemed like the movie wanted to make her the focal point, instead of Jacob, and that would probably have been a good idea. The grown ups aren’t really given that much to do, other than grieve and worry about their children.
Overall, the juxtaposition of comedy and tragedy didn’t really work very well, in my opinion. It just ended up feeling very uneven, like the movie had a bit of a split personality. I’d have preferred if they’d lightened up on the tragedy and squeezed a little bit of hope in here and there.
10 – 3 for uneven tone and storytelling – 1 for boring adult characters + .3 for the kids’ performances – .4 for hard to buy ending = 5.9