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Billy Bob Thornton,
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"Bubble Boy" is a comedy about a young man who was born without an immune system and has lived his life within a plastic bubble in his bedroom. When he finds out that the woman he has loved since childhood is about to be married at Niagara Falls, he builds a portable bubble suit and ventures into the outside world to win her affections. Written by
OK, I admit it. I was a child of the 80's. I distinctly remember sitting in elementary school and reading about the boy who lived in a bubble in my Weekly Reader. Naturally, when I saw the trailer for this movie, I asked myself, "Hey, whatever happened to that boy that lived in a bubble?" I knew I had to watch this to satisfy my curiosity. You've got the perfect character...an odd teenage boy that lives in a bubble. Write up an adventurous plot and throw in a cameo by Fabio and some M. C. Hammer on the soundtrack, and you've got yourself a movie that no Gen-X'er can resist.
I was fully expecting this film to be along the lines of "Wayne's World" or "A Night at the Roxbury." The characters are hilarious and exaggerated, but the non-existent plot drags on like a 10 minute skit that has gone 80 minutes too long. To my surprise, Bubble Boy has a fast-moving plot. OK, it is somewhat of an overused plot: Boy falls in love with girl; Girl gets engaged to someone else; Boy interrupts the wedding to get the girl back. You've watched enough movies like this to know how it is going to end, but, as always, it's the journey that Bubble Boy takes to get there that makes this movie interesting and redeeming. Just when you think Jimmy is finally on his way to Niagara Falls, and the movie is going to start dragging, BAM! The ice cream truck hits a cow! After mud wrestling two women while Japanese male spectators cheer him on, Jimmy is back on his way. Just when you think it can't get any more crazy, it does. That bubble plastic must be some tough stuff.
There is an important lesson can be learned from this movie. It is best expressed by Jimmy's dad who is really the only normal character, and only speaks once in the entire movie. He asks, "What if Neil Armstrong flew to the moon, but never set foot on it?" This movie is about taking chances...breaking out of our so-called bubbles, and experiencing life...not just sitting around watching it pass us by.
The dialogue and the jokes can be lame sometimes, but the humor really comes from the absurdity of the characters and the improbable situations the main character runs into. I have to give the writers an A+ for imagination. The movie is sanitized for younger viewers, but gives a wink and a nod to more mature viewers. This is a perfect modern day farce if you are looking for a light and uplifting comedy at the rental store.
FYI, in case you wondered, the original bubble boy, David, died at the age of 13 back in 1984 after an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant. Today, infants born without immunity to disease undergo the transplant procedure at a young age, so they don't have to live the rest of their lives in a bubble.
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