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I am a big fan of Matthew Lillard, I know that there are a few people
out there who don't enjoy him but to be honest I cant understand why,
ever since seeing his crazy persona in 'Scream' I have been a fan and
will even watch films specifically for his performance (Scooby doo not
included), with 'Fat Kid Rules the World' this is the same kind of
mentality I had upon watching the film, of which features Lillard's
The film revolves around Troy, an 'overweight' teenager who dreams of suicide, one day after school Troy contemplates jumping in front of a train but is stopped by a high school dropout named Marcus, who is popular amongst high schoolers dues to his status as a ''rock star'', the two strike up an unlikely friendship that will benefit them both as the two plan start their own rock band.
I was very iffy on this film for about the first 30 minutes, it felt quite clear that an inexperienced filmmaker was behind the camera, but as the film progressed I found myself becoming more and more absorbed by the story and Lillard's skills really seemed to flourish as the film progressed. The story is something that has been done many times in the past, a social outcast who finds a passion that will inevitably set him apart from the rest, although its been done many times, its a tale that I believe is always inspiring and in this film it is down quite well. Lilllard is obviously very passionate about this source material and it shows, and when a filmmaker is passionate his film it can work wonders.
One of the things that makes this film work is its lead performance from Jacob Wysocki, the guy made a name for himself last year in the film 'Terri' and once again gives a great performance here that is both fearless and funny, Wysocki really isn't afraid to mock himself which is very admirable. The whole supporting cast is also really good, especially Matt O'Leary as Marcus and Billy Campbell as Troy's strong minded but loving father.
Sure ''Fat Kid Rules the World' is far from a perfect film, but it is one paved with good intentions and that really isn't a bad thing, its a good hearted feel good tale of friendship, Matthew Lillard does an admirable job as a first time Director and Jacob Wysocki gives a great performance.
I was pleasantly surprised after viewing Fat Kid... I too grew up
chubby and withdrawn. I was attracted to characters like Marcus in my
own life. Matt O'Leary plays a high powered, reckless poetic and tragic
figure. A real hustler, and user of people. Jacob Wysoki who plays the
part of Troy,is an excellent actor. He says so much with facial
expressions, and he seems naive, but genuine.
I grew up playing Rock music, it became my career and I have no regrets. I only wish I had the kind of love and support Troys character enjoyed. The father ,played by Billy Campbell was so understanding, and nurturing. Obviously making up for the lack of a mother in the home.
I recommend this sweet and positive film. They are so rare and hard to come by. It was sentimental without being sappy.
Jacob Wysocki is the kind of actor where, the minute look into his
soul-penetrating eyes that say more than words ever could, his sympathy
begins to tug at your fragile heartstrings, and after spending an hour
and a half with his character, rarely leaving the frame, you feel
shaken and riveted. He's playing a character seemingly more in-tuned
with life than his character in Terri, his acting debut, and in certain
stretches, he appears more comfortable and confident as an actor.
He gives Fat Kid Rules the World, actor Matthew Lillard's directorial debut, a powerful life and impact as he effortlessly takes the thin concept presented and makes it into a convincing, ninety-minute portrayal of an obese social pariah and his fight to gain back his confidence and motivation, at first assuming he ever had any. Wysocki plays Troy Billings, who is seen fantasizing about a grisly suicide attempt in the opening minutes of the film. When he finally attempts his tragic fate, by walking in front of a bus, he is saved at the very last second by Marcus McCray (Matt O'Leary), a homeless drug addict who is one of the leads in his underground band. One wonders why a character like this would save a defenseless fat kid from an ugly fate. Then he asks him for $20.
Troy's homelife is rather grim as well; his father (Billy Campbell, whose performance will most likely be overshadowed, but is very, very wonderful) wants nothing but the best for his son, like all fathers, and for that reason, seems to give him more leniency than he should/ Troy's younger brother couldn't care less about him, and when it is revealed that their mother died, we question if this family were ever tightly bound together or if they were always coldly isolated from each other. When Troy begins prolifically hanging out with Marcus, Troy's father becomes conflicted in the sense that he is happy his boy found a friend, yet displeased with his friend's reckless, inconsequential behavior. When Marcus comes up with the spur-of-the-moment decision that him and Troy should form a rock band, with Troy on the drums, their relationship begins to become stronger and they start to understand the life the other one lives.
I worried that this film would mirror too closely to Wysocki's overlooked Terri, in terms of direction, tone, and plot, but that assumption was thrown away well before the first act ended. The "Terri" character in that film seemed to be more content with being an outsider and simply just wanted to be left alone, while we can see that Troy, here, is hungering for attention and acceptance. Meeting Marcus is arguably the best or worst thing that could've happened to him, yet we are left to answer that question.
The film is a little slow, but we are given much in the way of greatness in terms of writing and photography. Written by Michael M.B. Galvin and Peter Speakman, based off the K.L. Going novel of the same name, Fat Kid Rules the World, delicately paints the Troy character and the world around him, photographing it in hazy yet artful beauty, and giving him a story to tell that makes him marginally stand out from the rest. His story is not that far off from the story of Angus Bethune in another overlooked film by the name of Angus, starring Charlie Talbert as the title character, an overweight kid who simply hungered for acceptance and the feeling of not being ostracized. It is that specific quality that makes this film wholesome and understandable, and very, very unselfish.
I come full circle by saying that Wysocki's performance is by far, one of the best of the year. His mind and attitude is all one hundred percent and his capability as an actor bleeds from the second he steps on screen. He rightfully achieves sympathy, and even empathy, without being heavy-handed or cliché in his performance. Not to mention, Lillard gives this material the sensitivity and honest direction it needs and deserves. I just hope that Wysocki will not find himself type-cast in the role of the hopeless obese teen and branches out to find great work, surrounded by characters who love and accept him. We all deserve that.
Starring: Jacob Wysocki, Matt O"Leary, and Billy Campbell. Directed by: Matthew Lillard.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just want to give it up to the first time director. a nice small inspirational movie. movies like this show that the indie film world isn't dead, thanks to all involved in the movie. I remember seeing a trailer for this movie at an independent theater and just seeing the actors involved and the story was enough to hook me. this movie hits everything from social alienation, to coming of age story. it delves into what it's like growing up on different sides of the fence. in one family you have a kid who's mother died leaving him with a military father who nows nothing about his kids. the other side of the fence shows you the drugged out punk rocker ready to cause mayhem and destruction mainly to himself. what these two character's don't realize is that their misfortunes and problems end up combining and ultimately save them. I hope to see more from the two main actors. I also hope to see more from director Matthew lillard.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So there is nothing new or particularly exciting about this movie. It's
the story of who's not popular, a catalyst occurs, and then he is
popular. It's a story that's been done before many times, Angus, Simon
Birch, that one where Patrick Dempsey paid a cool girl to pretend to
That being said I did really enjoy watching this movie and would recommend it to others. Marcus and Troy's Father were both great performances and everyone else was really good. There were some fun scenes watching Marcus causing chaos here and there. It was interesting watching Troy's evolution throughout the movie. I wasn't quite emotionally invested enough for the OD scene to affect me but I did feel somewhat elated at the movies conclusion.
Again it's nothing your going to be talking about with your friends for weeks on end but a pretty pleasant way to spend an evening if you don't have that option.
Troy is an obese lonely video-gamer loser in school. He lives with his
father (Billy Campbell) and brother. He tries to kill himself by
stepping in front of a bus and he's saved by Marcus. Marcus is an
unreliable homeless school drop-out guitarist. Even his bandmates have
kicked him out. Marcus starts using Troy for a place to stay and food
to eat while claiming to start a band with him. Troy maintains his
friendship with Marcus despite his father's reservations. Troy is a
hormonal teen in love with Marcus' friend Isabelle (Lili Simmons).
Marcus is really annoying at the beginning. It takes a long time before he shows any signs of passing friendship with Troy. He does grow as a character and the friendship becomes more. Troy is a really passive person but he also grows too. The father is interesting because he's not yet another clueless adult in a teen movie. It's a slow start but it gets better. It's pretty good work for Matthew Lillard's directorial debut.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Fat Kid Rules the World" is a title to a film that sounds like it is
not all that great. When it comes to films, you should not judge a
book--or in this case a movie--by its cover. In this case, I gave the
film a shot and it was what I feared it would be, a slow moving
Based off the young adult novel of the same name by author KL Going, "Fat Kid Rules the World" follows an overweight teenager named Troy (Jacob Wysocki) who has no friends, a deceased mother, an athletic younger brother (Dylan Arnold), and a stern and stoic father (Billy Campbell). Troy ends up meeting Marcus (Matt O'Leary), a guitar player who is homeless and a drug addict. Troy and Marcus form a friendship, Marcus helping Troy come out of his shell and express himself, and Troy helping Marcus by being in a band with him, and at the end, helping him with his drug addiction.
If you like movies about people in the lifespan of teenagers to young adults where they find out some stuff about themselves and become more confident or they change their life around, you will probably like this film. If you are looking for a movie to watch on a lazy rainy day, look somewhere else because this film is a bore. Five minutes of watching this film feels like thirty minutes in the real world where you are watching the movie.
In a film like this, the chemistry between the two leads is what can make or break the movie. Troy and Marcus never feel like they are actually friends, but more like Marcus is being paid by someone to pretend to be Troy's friend and Troy is just following Marcus's every command without any thought on his part. The importance of the relationship to Troy is also bogged down by the addition of two additional friends (Lili Simmons and Tyler Trerise), taking away the importance because now Marcus is not Troy's only friend.
None of the characters of the movie are all that interesting, with the exception of Troy's dad who is ironically the most stoic character in the whole film. When your one interesting character is the one who shows little to no emotion, you know you have a problem.
"Fat Kid Rules the World" does not fall to the problems as other movies based on books where they are viewed as bad for the simple reason of the movie is not as good as the book. That is still the case with "Fat Kid", but the changes made from the book to better suit the movie do not work for the movie and the movie comes across as the team behind the film were given the plot points and the basic synopsis of the novel and were told to make a movie based on it without understanding the book in the first place.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have been a fan of Matthew Lillard since scream (one of my favorite horror series) I even watched without a paddle and SLC punk just for Lillards performance. This being his directorial debut I couldn't resist giving it a watch. The movie really caught my attention early on, it reminded me of other quirky films such as Napoleon Dynamite and Juno. I could really tell Lillard was passionate about the source material making it all that much better, I felt the film really picked up and was at it's best at the concert where Troy realized the lifestyle he was missing out on and I know this subject of bullying and a "loser" find a niche and becomes "popular" has been beat over the head but this movie did a really good job at telling this story. That being said the ending sort of dragged on a bit and abruptly ended without (in my opinion) finishing the story it started. But all in all i recommend giving this film a look especially if your a fan of Lillard or of Zero to Hero tales. 6/10
First, let me say, congratulations to Jacob Wysocki for a wonderful
performance in FKRtW. His Bath Boys history on YouTube has allowed for
many doors to open -- and luckily for us, this is one of the doors that
opens and reveals his talents.
When it comes to the story, I was absolutely engaged and excited to experience that trials and tribulations of Troy, even if sometimes they weren't pretty or euphoric, whereas Matt O'Leary I felt as miscast. His struggles weren't believable and I felt almost took away from overall story. It was almost as if the actor was trying to glorify Matthew Lillard's (who also directed) performance in Scream.
If it weren't for Mr. Wysocki or Billy Campbell (who plays the role of Troy's father brilliantly) or even the small role of Dayle (played by Dylan Arnold) then this would've been a huge miss.
Overall, the movie was fantastic. However, due the a very cheesy ending, this otherwise 9/10 film gets 7/10 from me.
I haven't yet seen this yet, but in response to the review on Mathew Lillard, I did not realize people got beef with him. I think he's a great actor and all the friends I've known throughout life, has nothing but positive stuff to say about him. Of course, this was the 90s and I was a teenager at the time. I first discovered him in the movie Scream and I did enjoy him and the movie a lot! Once again, I was a teenager and this was the mid-90s. Then again, I thought he was AMAZING in SLC Punk. That used to be one of my favorite films when it came out and its been years since I've seen it. Then my bf and I watched it a few months ago, and its been forever... I forgot how well-written that film was and Lillard's performance was perfect! The only reason I would think anyone has issues with that guy is because he's not a mainstream actor and he lost his popularity in the 90s. And we all know how 'uncool' it is to like 90s actors. The only 90s actor who became popular, years after his time, is Paul Rudd. =]
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