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this helmet is not one of my cooler ideas...


Patrick Fugit, Olivia Wilde, Fran Kranz, John Cho, Matthew Lillard

Trent: I gotta get to practice.
Sarah: 9:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning?  That is so NOT rock and roll.
Trent: Yeah?  Well, we’re not rock and roll, we’re adult contemporary…there’s a difference.

An eccentric fellow, Bickford Shmeckler (Fugit), living in the basement of a college Frat house has written a book containing all of his philosophical ideas about life and existence.  During a toga party, Sarah (Wilde) finds the book, thinks it sounds interesting, and steals it.  Bickford flips out and sets out on a quest to find it.

This is one of those movies that just asks you to roll with the silly premise that a bunch of average college kids would somehow fall down and worship somebody just because they had a few interesting ideas about life.  We never really get a full picture of what Bickford has written, but when we do get little slices of it, it doesn’t sound like anything more than your average pop philosophy that’s been spouted many many times before.

For the sake of argument, let’s say you buy the idea that this book of “cool ideas” actually is as arousing as most of the characters think it is.  Does the movie work once that basic premise is sold?  Not really.  There are a few good moments here and there, and I thought Olivia Wilde had the standout performance, but it all just sort of treads water until the inevitable ending where Bickford learns a big life lesson.

Speaking of Bickford, he is a hard character to root for.  He’s mean, pompous, and prone to temper tantrums.  He storms around the movie like a little kid that wants his favorite toy truck back.  In the end, when the character seems to change his ways, it doesn’t ring true at all.  Basically he wants to change his outlook on life entirely so he can stay with the hot chick that inexplicably likes him.

Not sure I blame him either…

Matthew Lillard is still annoying.

10 – 2.1 for an annoying lead character – 1.3 for the dull, thin story – .9 for the hard to buy ending = 5.7