2 user 1 critic

My Friend Joe (1996)

During the course of one summer, a young Irish lad named Chris befriends an American boy named Joe. The two couldn't be more different, yet they become inseparable. Things turn horribly ... See full summary »


Chris Bould


David Howard, Declan Hughes (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »

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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Schuyler Fisk ... Joe
John Cleere John Cleere ... Chris Doyle
Stephen McHattie ... Curt
Stanley Townsend ... Mr. Doyle
Pauline McLynn ... Ms. Doyle
Eoin Hughes Eoin Hughes ... Boyler
Mark Hannigan Mark Hannigan ... Conor
Stuart Dannell-Foran Stuart Dannell-Foran ... Noel
Joel Grey ... Simon
Katie Carroll Katie Carroll ... Suzie
Katy Davis ... Aideen
Didier Pasquette Didier Pasquette ... Nicolai
Marion Fossett Marion Fossett ... Ring Master


During the course of one summer, a young Irish lad named Chris befriends an American boy named Joe. The two couldn't be more different, yet they become inseparable. Things turn horribly wrong however, when Chris discovers his new best friend isn't a he, but a she. The sadness only begins as Chris learns why Joe's gender must be kept a secret. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gender | summer | irish | american | boy | See All (59) »


Best friends find you when you least expect it.


Drama | Family


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UK | Germany | Ireland



Release Date:

26 April 1996 (Ireland) See more »

Also Known As:

Jan, mein Freund See more »

Filming Locations:

Killiney, Dublin, Ireland See more »


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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User Reviews

Good movie, I strongly recommend to read the book first
16 August 2009 | by Enas1See all my reviews

Although I won't go into a deep comparison between the movie and the book it is difficult not to mention it. The movie is based on a book written by a German-Swedish writer, Peter Pohl and is called Janne, min vän (Johnny, My Friend). First of all they both deserve a lot more attention than they got. The book can easily be at my top 3 favourite books, no other book has managed to touch my soul to that degree, to feel compassion for the characters, make me laugh or even cry. And the movie which unfortunately doesn't stick to the book and can't generate the same deep emotions can easily make many Disney movies cower in shame. The book starts from the ending and you join the young narrator Chris, friend of Johnny/Joe into his journey to memories trying to find the clues, the missed details to figure out what has happened. That's why I strongly recommend not to read the synopsis, not to see the movie, not browse the cast and stop reading my comments at this point and read the book (don't read the synopsis at the back page of the book either)

Let's stick to the movie now. Here is the story: A 12(?) year old Irish boy named Chris is having problems to be accepted to the gang that his friends had formed, because he is afraid of everything. He is always slow on the bicycle, he is afraid to swim, he is afraid to climb to the tree house that his father(?) made for him. Until an American boy named Joe appears and joins the gang. Everyone is excited about the things he can do with his bike and how he seems that isn't afraid of anything. But Joe apparently has a secret. He vanishes for days without notice, no one knows why, no one knows where he lives, and he refuses to talk about it. Great aura of mystery, isn't it? But here the movie manages to spoil everything from the first minutes of the movie. The movie is still fun to watch from the beginning to the end though and delivers a sweet feeling.

The music. Well, I didn't like it. Sometimes it was distracting, the theme was oversiplistic and it didn't always fit to the occasion. Anyway it isn't a Hollywood movie. The picture has some noise and isn't very good quality(even on DVD) , the direction gets the job done, nothing special here (don't expect any special effects) didn't notice any problems either.

The performances. Schuyler Fisk's performance is phenomenal, plain and simple. It is like she was born for this role(no, really) and I can't imagine someone else playing Joe. Underrated actor that grew up and didn't become the hot chick so she can play the classic Boy meets Girl, Girl meets Boy Hollywood story. Anyway. Stephen McHattie is very good at the role of the bad guy and generally everyone else plays their roles professionally. Sometimes it isn't easy to understand what kids are saying (except Joe) and Suzie's acting has issues though.

Well, what else I can say. This movie deserves 90 minutes of your time. It is a good movie for kids(but not exclusively). It won't be easy to find it though, I was searching it for years until I found it on amazon.de. I hope for a proper closer to the book remake :-)

I also recommend the book. I consider it a masterpiece that anyone despite his age must read(it was/is advertised as a book for kids, but I consider it as a book for adults, or older children, without excluding younger children). Book gets a 11/10 ;-)

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