A coming-of-age story set in 1965 that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of ...
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A coming-of-age story set in 1965 that follows 12-year-old Andy Nichol (Chase Ellison), a bright student who, like most kids his age, will do anything to avoid conflict for fear of suffering overwhelming ridicule and punishment from his junior high school peers. Everyone's favorite teacher, Mr. Simon (Ed Harris), pairs Andy with the school's biggest outcast and social pariah, Stanley, aka "Big G" (Alexander Walters), on a critical term project. Sporting thick orange hair, a head too big for his body and ears too big for his head, "Big G" has been the object of ridicule since grade school. Before long, Andy will learn that there was truly a method behind Mr. Simon's madness as to why he teamed these two up. As the story unfolds, Mr. Simon finds himself the target of a malicious rumor after Principal Kelner (Amy Madigan) suspends a school bully for brutally beating up a female classmate whom he thinks has "cooties." When Andy watches "Big G" fearlessly confront the school bully, a ...Written by
The movie opens on May 17, 1965 (date seen on classroom chalkboard). Andy later enters his living room at home where his mom is watching a news report on TV about the war in Vietnam. The reporter's voice (sounds like Walter Cronkite) is clearly heard narrating a retrospective of the events of the Tet Offensive that began in January 1968, and the Battle of Khe Sanh that ended in July 1968. See more »
It has often been said that children are cruel. So goes the tale of Big G.
[reading to the class from Joan of Arc]
Joan looked at the generals and said, my business is not with you. You have not craved the counsel of war. Then she turned toward the kings Privy Counsel and continued. No, it is with you, a counsel of war. It is amazing. Counsels of war have no value, but to decided between two or several doubtful courses. But a counsel of war when there is only one course?
Big G had ...
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During the credits photos from the Eagles yearbook are accompanied by a brief description of the future of the main characters. See more »
It's hard to not be struck by the obvious similarities between this movie and the television show The Wonder Years. The vintage setting, the baritone voice-over, the main character who survives middle school by avoiding bullies and geeks as much as possible, lusts for an 'out-of-his-league' girlfriend, and goes home to an un-user-friendly father and patient, loving mother.
This week's episode is about a red-haired geek who looks like one of the Walton children. He is paired up with the main character for a project by a wise teacher. Things go wrong, rumours fly, and accusations are made that the teacher is a 'homo'. I don't know what is more difficult to believe, that 13 year olds didn't know what a 'homo' was in 1965, or that bullies would cower in fear from a tall, skinny geek.
The movie isn't bad, it's probably even 'sweet' for those who didn't grow up on the Waltons and/or The Wonder Years and can't compare the productions. But it is undeniably maudlin and should be approached with caution. I know some will think I shouldn't have seen the film if I don't like these types of movies. That isn't the point. There are good and bad versions of this type of coming of age film and this is a middle-of-the-road version which is why I gave it 5 out of 10.
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