Bubble Boy (2001)
User ReviewsReview this title
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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. ]
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