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Rocket Science
2 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Jeffrey Blitz

Written By:
Jeffrey Blitz

Reece Thompson, Maury Ginsberg, Jonah Hill, Anna Kendrick, Margo Martindale, Steve Park, Vincent Piazza, Aaron Yoo, Dionne Audain, Natasha Sattler, Dave Cooperman, Anastasia Summers, Nicholas D'Agosto, Dan DeLuca, Joel Garland, Justin Mather, Betsy Hogg, John Patrick Barry, Lisbeth Bartlett, Andrew Collie, Virginia Frank, Emily Ginnona, Betsy Hogg, Josh Kay, Zeeshan Khan, Michael Kusnir, Noah Mazaika

Rocket Science (2007)
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Movie Review by Douglas
August 20th, 2007

(minor plot points mentioned)

"Rocket Science" is a small picture. It doesn't have a big message, expect that life can be hard and make you unhappy. But it is still filled with plenty of laughs, and that's a good thing, because if you can't find ways to laugh at the confusion and idiocy and misery all around you, you're pretty much done.

I suppose you could compare this film in some ways to the classic "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and cross that with "Sixteen Candles"...except in "Sixteen Candles" Samantha wasn't as odd as she thought she was, and in "Welcome to the Dollhouse" we were confronted with the misery of public school like acid tossed in our eyes. "Rocket Science" takes a quieter approach, one in which the weight of the world doesn't feel quite so massive, and where the characters (in a somewhat untrue view of teenage years, in my opinion) realize that life will go on. Anyone who remembers how crucial a big test or an early relationship felt will likely see the same sense of urgency and overwhelming, over dramatized magnitude missing. But I still laughed quite a bit, all the same.

The plot is simple enough. Reece Daniel Thompson plays Hal Hefner, a lonely teenager who lives in a less than ideal world. His parents are splitting up, his older brother is a kleptomaniac and calls him by female names, and worst of all Hal stutters. He is basically invisible, to the point where his classmates don't even seem to make much fun of him. Suddenly, however, the school's debate champion Ginny (played by Anna Kendrick) recruits him as her debate partner. Stuck between how unsure of himself he feels and his sudden rush of acceptance and personal triumph, between his loneliness and his infatuation with the self-assured and cute Ginny, Hal tries to put all the pieces together and end up on top.

Along the way there are a multitude of humorous characters, most of whom are introduced only long enough to still be vague and amusing. Some of the funnier moments carry an add sort of humor, dark but still somewhat lighthearted. Jeffrey Blitz, who wrote and directed the film, keeps the story moving along but leaves a few twists which are sharp enough to be unexpected. And Reece Thompson keeps the stutter believable, not going for the cheap and easy laugh. His character is more than his speech problem.
This film is likely to get lost among the big budget movies and sequels and star-studded comedies this season.

But if you find it at a local art house theater, don't miss the chance to see "Rocket Science" before it disappears.

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