The fun starts when 11-year old Luke wishes he could have his last day of vacation all over again - and his dreams come true! But when he relives the last day of summer over and over again,... See full summary »
Jon Kent Ethridge,
The Forrester family - father Mitch Forrester, mother Helen Forrester, their pre-teen son Billy Forrester and their pre-school son Woody Forrester - have just moved to a new town where Mitch is starting a new job. Both Mitch and Billy are worried about fitting into their new environment. It's worse for Billy as Woody, who is not worried about the move, is at that stage in his life where everything is simple and easy. Billy's first day in the fifth grade at his new school does not go well when he gets into an altercation with the class bullies, led by Joe Guire. The altercation involves worms and Billy stating that he eats worms all the time, which leads to all the bullies calling him "Wormboy". As such, Joe bets Billy that he can't eat ten worms (without vomiting), the bet to take place this upcoming Saturday, with the last worm to be consumed by 7pm. Despite having a notoriously weak stomach, Billy takes him up on the bet. As the bet starts, the only classmate on Billy's side is ... Written by
It's a strange feeling to sit alone in a theater occupied by parents and their rollicking kids. I felt like instead of a movie ticket, I should have been given a NAMBLA membership.
Based upon Thomas Rockwell's respected Book, How To Eat Fried Worms starts like any children's story: moving to a new town. The new kid, fifth grader Billy Forrester was once popular, but has to start anew. Making friends is never easy, especially when the only prospect is Poindexter Adam. Or Erica, who at 4 1/2 feet, is a giant.
Further complicating things is Joe the bully. His freckled face and sleeveless shirts are daunting. He antagonizes kids with the Death Ring: a Crackerjack ring that is rumored to kill you if you're punched with it. But not immediately. No, the death ring unleashes a poison that kills you in the eight grade.
Joe and his axis of evil welcome Billy by smuggling a handful of slimy worms into his thermos. Once discovered, Billy plays it cool, swearing that he eats worms all the time. Then he throws them at Joe's face. Ewww! To win them over, Billy reluctantly bets that he can eat 10 worms. Fried, boiled, marinated in hot sauce, squashed and spread on a peanut butter sandwich. Each meal is dubbed an exotic name like the "Radioactive Slime Delight," in which the kids finally live out their dream of microwaving a living organism.
If you've ever met me, you'll know that I have an uncontrollably hearty laugh. I felt like a creep erupting at a toddler whining that his "dilly dick" hurts. But Fried Worms is wonderfully disgusting. Like a G-rated Farrelly brothers film, it is both vomitous and delightful.
Writer/director Bob Dolman is also a savvy storyteller. To raise the stakes the worms must be consumed by 7 pm. In addition Billy holds a dark secret: he has an ultra-sensitive stomach.
Dolman also has a keen sense of perspective. With such accuracy, he draws on children's insecurities and tendency to exaggerate mundane dilemmas.
If you were to hyperbolize this movie the way kids do their quandaries, you will see that it is essentially about war. Freedom-fighter and freedom-hater use pubescent boys as pawns in proxy wars, only to learn a valuable lesson in unity. International leaders can learn a thing or two about global peacekeeping from Fried Worms.
At the end of the film, I was comforted when two chaperoning mothers behind me, looked at each other with befuddlement and agreed, "That was a great movie." Great, now I won't have to register myself in any lawful databases.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?