6.7/10
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Rocket Science (2007)

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Looking for answers to life's big questions, a stuttering boy joins his high school debate team.

Director:

Jeffrey Blitz

Writer:

Jeffrey Blitz
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas D'Agosto ... Ben Wekselbaum
Anna Kendrick ... Ginny Ryerson
Utkarsh Ambudkar ... Ram
Candace Hammer ... Townsend Prep Debater (as Candace Burr Scholz)
Margo Martindale ... Coach Lumbly
Reece Thompson ... Hal Hefner (as Reece Daniel Thompson)
Vincent Piazza ... Earl Hefner
Denis O'Hare ... Doyle Hefner
Lisbeth Bartlett Lisbeth Bartlett ... Juliet Hefner
Aaron Yoo ... Heston
Virginia House Virginia House ... English Teacher (as Virginia Frank)
Marilyn Yoblick ... Plainsboro Lunch Lady
Maury Ginsberg ... Mr. Lewinsky
Emily Ginnona ... Honoria
Dionne Audain ... Abraham Lincoln
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is easier done than said.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Ciência Espacial See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$58,536, 12 August 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$712,391, 21 October 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

B&W Films,Duly Noted,HBO Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Plainsboro shares two high schools with West Windsor, and therefore no Plainsboro High School exists in New Jersey. See more »

Goofs

After the disqualification, the outline of a body microphone pack can be seen through Hal's sport coat (rear waistband). See more »

Quotes

Lewis Garrles: [showing Kama Sutra to Hal] I tried this one with my pants on, on Winchester, our old dog, but he wouldn't sit still and he DIED a month later.
See more »

Connections

References Pecker (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Blister In The Sun
Written by Gordon Gano
Performed by Sam Matthews and Houfei Tang
Also performed by Violent Femmes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Neurotic Anti-Love Story
7 May 2007 | by cwd9000See all my reviews

This film is simply astounding, in my opinion. The acting is top notch as well as the soundtrack, writing, editing, and photography.

I'll start with the general story:

Hal Heffner (Reece Thompson) is just an ordinary , no frills high-school kid who happens to have a severe stutter. He has a some-what broken home life, living with his older, bullying, thief of a brother, Earl (Vincent Piazza). Their parents don't get along so well... Hal has a difficult time dealing with his stutter in school as well as general daily life. He is especially shy. Well... Hal is approached by the school Debate Team Star, Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick) and she entices Hal into joining the Plainsboro High Debate Team. Hal develops a fondness for Ginny and desperately attempts to be closer with her. Hilarity Ensues...

The Acting in this film is nothing but astonishing. Reece does an incredible job of balancing his lines and creating a very convincing stuttering problem. Not only this, but the jokes he has to carry out are low-key and very natural. The very impressive fast-paced and garbled speech that Anna and Nicholas D'Agosto (Ben in the film), as well as the other debaters in the film have to employ is incredible. According to Jeff Blitz, real debaters speak faster, but the Actors/Actresses had to slow their speech so that everything was intelligible. Every player in this film speaks so naturally and fluently that the jokes are not obvious. They require thought, despite their beautiful simplicity. If you know Wes Anderson films, you know what I am talking about.

Speaking of the Writing, it is, once again, amazing. The love story that this film illustrates is a very different type of love story. It takes the genre and flips it upside-down at every turn. This trend also emanates in all other facets of the film as well. Just when your mind thinks one thing is going to happen, something unexpected happens. This film is very unpredictable, which is very nice as this film does not follow the fairy tales that are so common in film today.

Rocket Science is also just beautiful looking. The film was made predominately in the Baltimore Area. The crew did a most convincing job of turning South East Baltimore into Trenton, NJ and turning the suburbs of MD into those of NJ. As a Dundalk resident myself, I can testify.

The editing is also innovative in that it employed its fitting soundtrack into the cutting. The music will fire up to match the sequence and then pause to let a key moment carry itself out, and then pick up right where it left off. Speaking of the music, The Violent Femmes are all over the place and their songs of Love Angst match perfectly with the entire flow and story of the film.

All in all, this film was a most enjoyable experience. The laughs I had are unforgettable and the emotions that I felt watching Hal chase his dreams really tapped into me. Its a realistic film with a slight neurotic sitcom twist to it. Jeff Blitz is simply brilliant and it shows in this work. Reese has a most bright future and will be fully discovered once this film hits.

For a truly uplifting, however, realistic experience that will certainly make you laugh and impress as well, go see Rocket Science when it releases on August 10th.

-Daniel J. Carlin-Weber


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