Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
Coming of age in Plainsboro, New Jersey. High school student Hal Hefner stutters. On the evening his parents stop arguing and separate, 43 miles away at the state tournament, his school's legendary debater, Ben Wekselbaum, goes blank mid-sentence, Ben's teammate Ginny Ryerson doesn't get a first-place trophy, and the world changes. That fall, to Hal's amazement, Ginny recruits him for the debate team, mentors him, and will be his partner. He still has his stutter, but he works hard and he falls in love with Ginny. On the day of the first debate of the season, the world changes again. From then until the day of the state tournament, Hal has a lot to sort out. Is love rocket science? Written by
After the disqualification, the outline of a body microphone pack can be seen through Hal's sport coat (rear waistband). See more »
[Hal is taking a bath with the bathroom door locked; Earl is trying to break in]
I hate you! Mommy and Judge Pete hate you! Daddy hates you! Melody, daddy's new girlfriend, hates you. That bottle was reposado, you doofus dunce! Uncle Chaz spent big bucks on that. Uncle Chaz hates you!
[Earl breaks into the room]
That's all I wanted to say. There's pineapple cake in the fridge. If you're late, I'll eat the whole cake, so don't be late.
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A Movie Set During That Oft-Overlooked Period In Life
Rocket Science is essentially a movie about a boy who discovers his worth and abilities throughout his furious campaign for his dreams. The film's mood pushes the limit of tongue- in-cheek, and it is certainly felt as a comedy because after all, the premise is a stuttering boy joining a debate team, but despite all the hilarious non sequiturs and plot-driven laughs, I take that essential theme to heart. Hal Heffner is an innocently gawky young high school kid, portrayed in a should-be career-making performance by Reece Thompson, who has a severe stuttering problem and experiences a change of events that he finds to have had a tempestuous emotional effect on him that I'm just dying to give away but won't. From this point on, we share those emotions, because it's nearly impossible not to throw in all your chips for this kid. The reason is because growing up, frankly, is hard. Once one has done it, one doesn't feel like it was as hard as it was, but at the time, it most definitely was. Watching this film, we watch this naive stuttering boy crippled by inhibitions and shyness mature, reaching the extremes of anger, confusion, love, intellectual growth, and introspection.
There are plenty of movies about high school, and they're full of comeuppance, humor targeted for that age, discovery of sex, et cetera, but there is very very rarely a movie like Rocket Science, a movie about that particular time in your life when you were just growing into yourself and you didn't even know it, and you hardly look back at that time because of the unawareness of self at that point and, hopefully, the growth since then. This is an important little film that, though it isn't receiving the attention I feel it would and should get with a wider and longer release, time will be kind to, with great hope.
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