Bubble Boy (2001) Poster

(2001)

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Not as Dumb as it Looks
dr_mookie24 November 2004
When I rented it, I was expecting to be disappointed. What a shock! An awesome film with a delightfully goofy plot. I did not find it offensive in any reagrd. In fact, I disagree with those who have called the film "stupid" or "dumb" or void of any real social commentary. In a nutshell, Almost everyone Jimmy encounters on his adventure is trapped in their own self imposed bubble. Truth is, we all find ways to insulate ourselves from the world, and impose "Bubbles" to convince ourselves of non-existent limitations that prevent us from being and doing what we want. The film's irony and beauty lies in the fact that while Jimmy's bubble is the most obvious, he is the free-est character in the film. He refuses to accept the limitations of his bubble, and will follow his heart no matter what the cost. How many of us can look in the mirror and say the same about ourselves? Well worth the cost of rental. One of the least recognized film jewels of the century so far.
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10/10
What A Bloody GREAT Movie
Jonathan Swift5 December 2005
I caught this movie by mistake after it was broadcast on BBC1 at midnight last night, I just had to go straight out and get the DVD. It only had a one star rating in my television magazine which I think is terrible. It was a highly entertaining film which myself at 26, my 24 year old girlfriend, my 53 year old mother and even my very young daughter highly enjoyed - A really entertaining, pleasant family movie and obviously VERY under-rated in the UK. It was just one laugh after another, a really uplifting, funny story with a not-too over the top ending (although it was a little predictable). I would, however, like to send my respect to the family & friends of Matthew McGrory, as he always played great characters in all of his movies - I was very shocked and upset to hear that he passed away earlier this year, he will be immortalised by all of the great roles that he entertained the world with.
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7/10
Perfect Modern Day Farce
tulsastorm22 September 2005
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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10/10
Roller-coaster freakshow of John Waters-ish fun
TelevisionJunkie28 January 2003
It's obvious reading the comments here that the people who got this film completely got it and those who didn't did not understand it at all. I griped about how dumb this looked when it was released (the ad campaign was a joke) and never had any intention of seeing it. But Gylenhaal bowled me over in `The Good Girl,' so I decided I had to see his other films.

The film's certainly not for all tastes, but will appeal to people who've liked John Waters' films from the past decade. Yes, it's politically incorrect. But that's a big part of the fun! Most of the jokes are delivered with a dry sense of irony (case in point, the guy in the ticket booth). The entire cast gives hilarious performances from Swoosie Kurtz in an outrageous psycho-mother performance to `Working's Arden Myrin as head-Lorraine, the psycho cult-follower. A big part of the fun is that all of the characters ARE psycho and off-kilter. Much like the TV-series `The Oblongs,' the psychos in this film aren't scarred by their shortcomings, they revel in them... Which is why it isn't offensive unless you're politically correct and easily offended.

It feels like this movie should have been made 20 years ago. It has a real '80s feel to it, and the multiple `Land of the Lost' references (the spoof scene is hysterical) feel about 15 years out of place. There's no gross-out sexual humor, which is both refreshing and unusual in this post-`There's Something About Mary' age of films. It just has a twisted-wholesome 80s sense about it.

My one and only complaint is the running time. At 83 mins, it left me wanting more. Many of the scenes seem choppy, as if big parts of the scenes are missing (Bubble Boy's confrontation with Dr. Phreak for one). The entire opening sequence seems as if it should have gone on longer, and instead they compensated with voice-overs and musical overdubs to push it forward faster. It wouldn't bother me if there were a `deleted scenes' section on the DVD, but like most of Touchstone's DVD releases, there's little for extras.

All in all, a great little underrated film!
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10/10
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda been a hit.
gatchaman6 November 2004
I've just discovered BUBBLE BOY and didn't realize what I'd been missing all these years. One of the few real laugh out loud films. It started off amusingly, then about a quarter of an hour into the film I was creased up on the floor, and stayed that way till the credits rolled. And as for all the critics who apparently complained about the film being cruel and tasteless - don't they understand the concept of humour. Comedy has always been about laughing at other peoples misfortune - whether it's Oliver Hardy accidentally hitting Stan Laurel around the head with a plank of wood, or Frasier Crane trying to hook up with the beautiful woman down the hall and striking out yet again - that's just how it works. However, anyone who has actually watched the film would surely also see that besides being riotously funny, it has a great message. The eponymous character is adventurous and heroic, and Jake Gyllenhaal plays the wide-eyed innocence and enthusiasm with such passion that you can't help but admire both the actor and the character as he makes his journey through life. The underlying message of the film is to not give up on your dreams. To live life to the full. It's about facing the world, and overcoming the obstacles to achieve true happiness. The fact that it has you crying with laughter whilst communicating that message is a bonus. It's now in my top ten of comedy and feel-good movies and I'd recommend this film to anyone.
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7/10
light hearted and funny
FineLine1521 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
When watching movies late at night this one is a funny one to check out. It adds amusing scenes with naive love. Jimmy is a boy stuck in a bubble since childbirth and becomes friends with the girl next door. His mother who is over bearing calls the girl dirty names but allows their relationship because of his bubble. When the girl leaves the town to get married to the wrong guy Jimmy must find a way to get to Niagra Falls to stop the marriage.

This movie is a series of incidents in which Jimmy happens to bump into the right person at the right time to get to the next stage in his journey. With the culmination of all the parties getting to the wedding when he gets there, finding out he's (gasp) got *immunities* all along, and his exit with Pappy, Pippy, and Poonanny makes Bubble Boy a hilarious comedy that is great for you late nighters.
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I wish my mom was like bubble boy's...
MLDinTN3 September 2002
well, NOT really. The mom is what made this movie very funny. Her character was great, especially with all the not so nice things she did and said, but then in the next sentence she would praise Jesus. I also got a kick out of all the weird characters bubble boy meets on his trip to Niagra Falls.

This movie was so much better than a lot of other comedies. I guess all the controversy over the fact this movie makes fun of people who really live in bubbles is what killed it at the theater. If I'd known this was actually worth watching, I would have seen it a lot sooner.

FINAL VERDICT: Remember this is a comedy. Don't take it so seriously. This movie is silly; it is not trying to be offensive. Just take it for what it is worth and you will laugh and have a good time. This is definitely worth the 90 minutes it takes to watch it.
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10/10
Fun Pee Wee like movie
hcbfc18 July 2003
If you liked PEE WEE HERMAN'S BIG ADVENTURE, you'll like BUBBLE BOY. Some rude humor but overall a sweet film that was wrongfully maligned by the protests from parents with kids in actual bubbles. The movie wasn't about that - the bubble was obviously a symbol for overprotection. Jake Gyllenhaal is very funny as the wide-eyed innocent.
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10/10
THIS MOVIE HAD ME ROLLIN!!!
Roseaux23 August 2002
Some say this movie was offensive, but if so, it was offensive to at least a dozen different demographics equally. This movie owes it to Jake Gyllenhaal. He was hilarious!!! I mean I can't believe he was able to suspend the energy level from the very beginning. You also have to give it up to Swoosie Kurtz. She played her character so well and not to take anything away from her, just looking at her face cracks me up. The funniest moment was when the Indian ice cream truck driver was shooing the big rig to get out of the way!!!HAHAHAHAHA....just thinking about it.
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6/10
Hard to categorize
bobcat_18998 August 2003
This is one of the most disagreed-about movies in the IMDB. Depending on how this movie struck you, you either love it or hate it. Or you think it's pretty good. I've never seen a jury so divided.

I think the key to this movie is watching it with low expectations. It's a silly movie. Don't look for high comedy. It's the kind of movie that makes you chuckle in spite of yourself.

And it has one of the truly memorable lines in filmdom. I'm referring to the kids chasing the Ice Cream and Curry truck.

I give this movie a 6 out of 10, which is about what the user ratings would average out to, if you threw out the people who loved it and hated it to the extreme.
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10/10
The wait for a decent summer movie is over!!!!!
stevedog421 August 2001
A few months ago I had the opportunity to see Bubble Boy at one of those free screenings where they ask you to rate and analyze it (@ Thousand Oaks Janns Marketplace, CA). It was a rough cut at the time but it was enough to convince me now, that it could be one of the best movies of the summer. Let me explain. You see, at the beggining of the season I was hyped for the big stuff (AI, Jurrasic 3, Apes, Pearl Harbor,American Pie 2), so when I saw this little known movie called Bubble Boy, I really liked it and moved on, looking now for the real big name/budget films. A few months pass...

I've seen all the supposed good films (Except AP2) and my final conclusion is that Bubble Boy is better than all of them. It doesn't try to make a huge statement, it doesn't try to razzle/dazzle the audience, and it doesn't try to gross us out even more than recent and current comedies. It simply focuses on some very likeable characters who offer more than just name recognition and crude jokes. The characters all have heart, they all are positive role models, and they have great chemistry together. Is it possible that Hollywood has actually put out a decent story with decent values and developed characters??? YES they have, and Bubble Boy is it!

OK, so the plot is very basic. Boy is born w/o immunities, lives in bubble, falls in love with neighbor girl, journeys across the country to stop her marriage and declare his love for her. The story works and sets a perfect framework to learn with him about the real world as he influences the lives of some very diverse people. The ending is simply great. I was a litle worried how this was going to wrap up, but it did just fine.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the Bubble Boy and plays him well. He's innocent, thoughtful, and humorously naive with the ways of the world. The girl he falls in love with is Marley Shelton, who is very different from the typical Hollywood bimbo. She can actually act, and she portrays the love of Jimmy's (the Bubble Boy) with more than just good looks.

I'm not going to undermine how hot she is, because she is, but there is so much more to her character. The mom played by (Swoosie Kurtz) also does a great job being the fanatical, protective mother. There are other great supporting characters that all add something to the Bubble Boy's journey. Two of my favorite characters were Pippy and Pappy, brothers who haven't spoken to each in over 86 years. They just add more subtle humor to all the physical comedy that is plentiful. That's what is truly great about this movie. It has the slapstick, the subtle witty humor, developed characters, and a touching finale. This is one well-rounded Bubble, and it deserves to be hit.
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10/10
Offbeat humor that apparently a lot of folks didn't get.
eichler27 December 2013
As of this writing, this movie only has a 5.4 star average, which is a real shame. Bubble Boy is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen, one of the rare films where I literally laugh uncontrollably several times while watching it. The humor is very unique though (and as many others have pointed out, not particularly politically correct most of the time), so I can see why a lot of people would give it 1 star and say it wasn't funny. Humor is a very subjective thing. That said, those people are just flat out wrong - this is easily one of the best comedies I've come across. If you like farcical, offbeat humor, you need to see this movie.
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10/10
Last great Camp movie!
ryan mcdaniel3 June 2013
I was actually one of the few who saw this movie in the theaters 10 years ago. I thank Seinfeld for spawning this movie. If he hadn't "broke the ice" with HIS bubble boy, we would have never been able to enjoy this one. First off, this movie offends EVERYBODY! Its great, all stereotypes are represented here. But its all done in a tasteful way. Hey! Its camp, that's what they do! If your one of those uptight, politically correct types who doesn't know how to laugh at yourself or others, you probably will be offended. But honestly, you were going to get offended by anything anyhow. Glad to see it on TV today. We need more people in this country affected by this courageous BUBBLE BOY!
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10/10
One of the best comedies I have ever seen!
syanide2631 January 2010
I have been on IMDb for awhile, but this is the first movie that I commented on. And I did so because I simply could not believe that this movie got such low ratings! This has got to be one of the near perfect comedies that I have ever seen. It is fresh and exciting. Jake Gyllenhaal is infectiously innocent, energetic and silly. The movie is a cross between Pee Wee's Big Adventure and almost any John Waters film. I just watched it again and my face and sides are still hurting from laughing so hard. What I really liked about this movie was its perfect coordination of silly with smart humor. And as a few commenters here have mentioned, there is a lot of symbolism going on in this movie, so watch it once for the pure silly joy of it, then watch it again for the deeper meaning.
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10/10
Gyllenhaals best performance: A profound and neglected gem!
musiclovers114 February 2009
One of the best films of the last ten years. Gyllenhaal has never equaled this film - his performance is quite sublime. As is every one of the supporting cast. With Danny Trejo and Swoozie Kurtz both stand-outs. The film is an excellently written smart/stupid comedy. As an indictment of organized religion it works beautifully as the hapless Christ figure of Jimmy almost falls pray to gangs, cults, religion, vice and Fabio! 'Dude Where's My Car?' it most certainly is not... There may be juvenilia in this movie but in reality it is smart as a whip. I don't believe Blair Haynes has made any films since this and that is a loss.
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10/10
Lighten up!
evilducky230 December 2004
I think most of the people who have rated this movie take it way too seriously. It's not a serious movie, guys! It's not putting anything down, it's just.. poking fun. It's pretty much a live-action, satirical, cartoon. It's one of those movies that if you don't just go along with it.. well....you're not with it.

I love that this movie isn't so concerned with being so politically correct. It's one of the few movies I've seen that will actually do that. I think you should stop trying to be righteous all the time, and just let yourself laugh. Maybe you might be offending somebody, but who cares? It seems like everyone today is so easily offended. I'll bet some people are getting pretty hacked off at me right now, but I can state my opinions. It's a free country. People should start taking advantage of the fact that they have freedom of speech and won't be punished for what you say (except if it's against the president, but that's another story..)

I love this movie. I love it, I love it, I love it.. It always makes me laugh no matter how depressed I am. And, ah, Jake Gyllenhaal is so sweet in it, so nice and so innocent. His mother is hilarious. She can go from really dramatic to really funny in an instant.

If you haven't seen this movie, see it. If you've seen this movie and love it.. go see it again. If you've seen this movie and think it's an immature load of crap.. well, go find yourself some so-called "mature" comedy..
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8/10
Comedic spectacle that doesn't need sex-driven teens
Bogan Nash2 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A fine comedy movie that was sadly overshadowed by overly sexual films of its time.

Gyllenhaal is surprisingly charming in a young boyish kinda way (what a throwback from Prince of Persia) but the real strong point of this film is that it takes risks as well as incorporating clichéd film sequences.

It is politically incorrect, some might even say racist (The Indian and the cow, the FIVE HUNDRED DOWLAAAHHH!) but these are the artistic risks and it does pay dividends as it works concurrently with templated sequences (when all the freaks congregate for a massive climax at the wedding).

Its creative plot is somewhat downwatered by the shallow twist, but at least he doesn't die.

Overall, enjoyable and supremely good for a comedy movie at 2001. Outdoes many comedies around right now.
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7/10
Surprisingly good.
blahblahblah1234513 May 2009
So I was expecting for me to think this was the dumbest movie ever, but I was pleasantly surprised with how entertained I was. While incredibly ridiculous and unbelievable, it was pretty funny and interesting. Jake Gyllenhaal was slightly miscast in my opinion, but still delivered a quirky and charming performance as the "Bubble boy". Really, all the supporting characters were hilarious as well. Perhaps some of the humor is a bit too "out there" for everyone, but I think some people will appreciate the film's creativity and originality. While still following the rom-com formula, this movie is still a step above and a breath of fresh air.
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10/10
If you didn't like this movie you like Napoleon Dynamite
Dr-Moviecriticdbest21 December 2008
This movie along with several Cohen Brothers, Marx Brothers, and Mel Brooks and Woody Allen movies rank as the funniest movies ever to be produced. How anyone could not laugh all the way through this (and be touched by the wonderful ending) is not comprehensible. You must see this movie is you like to laugh. If you laughed at Napoleon Dynamite please do not even try to understand any other movie. Jake G. did Donnie Darko in the same year (2001). I like both these movies. But Darko will leave you depressed and wondering what the heck did I see during these 2 hours? However, in Bubble boy you will be uplifted by his spirit and accomplishments and the great ending. Try both, but I suggest seeing Darko FIRST then watch Bubble boy to get your spirits back up. ENJOY BOTH!
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7/10
in the same vein as Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Rat Race
tonywebman7 May 2006
You have to be in a certain mood and have a little bit of a skewed sense of humor to enjoy this diamond in the rough. If you liked Pee Wee's Big Adventure then you'll like this movie too.

Rat Race tried hard to capture the inane and superfluous humor of Bubble Boy and Pee Wee #1 but couldn't pull it off. Bubble Boy succeeds because it never takes itself too seriously. How can it? A movie based around a guy who crosses the US trying to stop his girl friend's wedding... in a plastic bubble.

If you want something quirky, funny, and silly, but kinda clever, give this movie a try. Yes, it is very stupid, but it's also fun. Lighten up and enjoy. You'll be glad you did. There's more than a few chuckles and a couple of outright laughs, and a few places where you'll be scratching you head and thinking "who could come up with this and how could they make it into a move?". Not because it's bad, but because it's so weird. Ice cream and curry? Who'd a thunk it?

Don't let the low score on IMDb fool you. This movie is only for certain tastes, but if your funny bone is a little bent, then I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
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10/10
Hilarious.
tuMrsBatman22 March 2006
Oh my goodness. How can people give this an F? I thought it was pretty good. It was SO funny. Extremely creative and a lot of laughs.

No Gyllenhaal fan can give Bubble Boy an F. I'm a huge Gyllenhaal fan. He did such a great job with the facial expressions and all. I never thought I would see Jake Gyllenhaal be funny... but he really was. I'd like to see him do some more comedies. I like this goofy stuff of his. He pulls of the wacky hair-do wonderfully. Nobody else could have played the role better.

The story got just slightly confusing with Pappy and Poonanny.

But I still absolutely love Bubble Boy.

[ I would have put exclamation marks && more capitalization in this but it's considered 'shouting'. I love this movie. ]
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Taken WAY too seriously
MovieAddict20169 June 2002
Bubble Boy is a comedy about a boy who is born with a rare condition-no immunities. To be able to survive, he must live in a huge bubble. But when his life-long crush(the girl next door) is getting married to the wrong guy, he creates a small bubble so he can go out and stop the wedding in niagra falls.

Right there a flag pops up. This is going to be a "stupid" slapstick comedy, like corky romano, another highly under rated comedy. People just take bubble boy too seriously. If you ever watch this movie, just remember to have fun, and not think of it as a serious comedy. If you take it seriously, you'll find yourself hating this movie, and turning into Richard Roeper. Just think of bubble boy, as the kind of movie that isn't supposed to be watched with a heavy heart. Maybe then you'll enjoy it like I did. 3/5 stars
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9/10
Nothing bad to say; an interesting combo of laffy taffy jokes..
kaddy1629 June 2004
Like I said, nothing bad to say about this movie... It's one of those that you can watch over and over again and still not catch every joke, or catch- OK, maybe after the 5th or 6th time you will. Depending on what you like. If you like quirky stuff and you think laffy taffy jokes are funny, you will love this movie!!! Jake is great in this flick. He goes along with his crazy mom until his love moves away to get married, then he must go search for her- from the comforts of his bubble suit- How romantic!!! Also, you will love the cameo appearances. If you want to waste an hour and a half of your life, but still laugh the whole time, go see it!!!
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10/10
What can i say?
lik_the_tic_gal24 October 2004
basically this...brilliant. I have never seen such a film with the most pointless and weird plot but its laughs and brilliant humour makes it above average. Its basically about this boy who has been told he has no immunities so lives in a bubble. One day the girl next door visits and their loves blossoms however, his inability to declare his love leaves her getting married to an idiot at Niagara falls. Bubble boy has to rescue his one true love...his adventure is full of laughs, bikers, bright n shiny people and pippy and pappy...and don't forget poonani...he then rescues Chloe and finds out he's had immunities since he was 4 but all ends well...if you haven't seen it, what are you waiting for? trust me its fantastic!
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Not As Bad as you Think??
Roxburyfunny127 August 2001
People Said it looked stupid because of the Trailor, i myself said this looks so Good and it Was better than Expected. Jake Gyllenhaal was amazing aside from Doing October Sky which he is best known for, this was a major career step that some of the best actors take years to do, he did it quick and Nailed the role amazingly. In the Majority of the Movie you can see that when he wants to step out in the world, or him doesn't know something or bluntly puts something to someone its so real its like he doesn't know the Consquences or anything this is what he knows and he tells the person what he knows if the have it, Such as Religion or a person in general. The mom is a very God Loving Person and she tells him the bad and good but not all of it. When Bubble Bo First stepped out into the world you could see that it was like he was actually first stepping out, He made it so Realistic like all this was bad new. It was amazing you were Looking through his eyes and seeing it for the first time to and the ending talk about superb. All in all it was a very good movie hilarious, great acting, and just alot of fun the people who were in it, As for the Bubble why it didn't pop Doctors probably came up with some type of great plastic or something that's basically unbreakable under certain Circumstances. In Conclusion a Highly Recommended must see for those who love a Good Laugh and a Good cast
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