6.3/10
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3 user 3 critic

Just Peck (2009)

Not Rated | | Comedy , Family | 2009 (USA)
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When Michael Peck's overbearing parents force him to compete in the science fair, he thinks he can shock everyone. Instead, Peck finds that teen angst might be cliché, but it still sucks.

Director:

Michael A. Nickles

Writer:

Marc Arneson (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keir Gilchrist ... Peck
Marcia Cross ... Cheryl Peck
Adam Arkin ... Michael Peck
Camryn Manheim ... Ms. Wood
Kyle Kaplan ... Geiger
Brie Larson ... Emily
Tiya Sircar ... Becca
Don McManus ... Mr. Trustman
Tom McGowan ... Mr. Kuhner
John Prosky ... Dr. Lipschitz
Molly Hagan ... Ms. Sears
Martin Spanjers ... Marty Binkman
Justin Lee ... Jun
Hayley Holmes ... Annie
Drew Tyler Bell ... Cooper (as Drew Taylor Bell)
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Storyline

Nervous little 104-pound sophomore Michael Peck would like to join the wrestling team, but when he breeches the subject to his intellectual-snob parents after getting booted from band, they're unable to hear him and prepare a contract for him to join the Science Club instead (a parent-child agreement documented in legal terms which he is forced to sign and obligated to maintain). Skipping school with his best bud Geiger, they run across two senior girls, Emily and Becca, also skipping. Peck and Emily begin a tenuous relationship, mostly due to Peck's interest in her. They are worlds apart in savvy (she with much, he with none), but it's interactions with her and experiences in his classes that shape Peck's forced-upon science fair project, which, when presented, rocks the genuinely indifferent and platitude-numbed school system from its slumbering core. Written by statmanjeff

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In suburbia no one can hear you scream.

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Peck See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The leads were played by Keir Gilchrist and Brie Larson, who played siblings on United States of Tara for three seasons. See more »

Quotes

Ms. Wood: God damn it! Your little brat made a teen suicide tester for the school science fair.
Michael Peck: Oh, my God. I never thought I'd say it: Our son, the edge teen.
Cheryl Peck: And all we were hoping for was "conformer." I am so proud.
[They kiss]
Ms. Wood: [to a colleague] Oh, my God. I told you they were insane.
Michael Peck: [once again aware of Ms. Wood] Oh, surprise. The university of mediocrity alumni don't get it. The machine is just the beginning. The debate, the controversy...
Cheryl Peck: All part of Mike's project.
Michael Peck: It's beyond technology. It's ...
[...]
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Connections

References Alien (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth your time.
21 July 2010 | by OutlawsDeLejosSee all my reviews

I watched this title knowing almost nothing about it other than I liked the two leads from the Showtime series, the United States of Tara. The setup is a well worn path, Keir Gilchrist plays Michael Peck, a 104lb Freshman invisible to his parents and those at school save for a small circle of friends.

Through a chance encounter he befriends Emily (Brie Larson), an attractive and popular senior at his school. They bond through their subsurface similarities, both are intelligent and posses a sharp tongue matched with a darkly funny evaluation of suburban life. But each are neglected by their parents, Peck's parents are overbearing and deaf to their sons concerns whilst Emily's just aren't there.

The two areas where this film just doesn't work are in the production values, this is obviously an independent film but unfortunately it sometimes looks like they stole set pieces from a direct to cable Disney film. The other let down is the direction, it is beyond flat. No style, no consistency in tone or the effort to create one, in retrospect it looks like they got their director from a Disney set as well.

The real saving grace is in a surprisingly good script, still let down with some strange turns and the performances. Gilchrist and Larson do seem to be following a reasonably close path to their turns in United States of Tara but in this film they're allowed the time to develop a successful character arc that not only works, but works well. Both turn in tender and genuine performances, and by the end Brie Larson particularly, really proves she has the acting chops to be taken seriously as a professional.

Whilst it has its flaws, Just Peck survives it's technical limitations through the talent of the cast and some originality and great laughs buried in an otherwise clichéd story.

7/10


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