7.1/10
9,958
28 user 37 critic

That's What I Am (2011)

Trailer
2:27 | Trailer
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Pavone (as Mike Pavone)

Writer:

Michael Pavone (as Mike Pavone)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ed Harris ... Mr. Simon
Chase Ellison ... Andy Nichol
Molly Parker ... Sherri Nichol
Daniel Roebuck ... Jim Nichol
Randy Orton ... Ed Freel
Daniel Yelsky ... Norman Grunmeyer
Alexander Walters Alexander Walters ... Big G
Mia Rose Frampton ... Mary Clear
Amy Madigan ... Principal Kelner
Camille E. Bourgeois III Camille E. Bourgeois III ... Jason Freel (as Camille Bourgeois)
Renwick D. Scott II Renwick D. Scott II ... Dan Rainier
Jordan Reynolds Jordan Reynolds ... Ricky Brown
Vanessa Cloke ... Irene Freel
Sarah Celano Sarah Celano ... Karen 'Cootie' Connor
Dalton Mitchell Dalton Mitchell ... Sam Nolan (as Dalton Zachary Mitchell)
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I'm a Teacher. I'm a Singer. I'm a Writer.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material throughout, language and some bullying | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 April 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Red See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was based on a true story See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 30 mins) When Andy is headed to Mr. Simon's house, a white 90s Lincoln Town Car can been seen in the background. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: It has often been said that children are cruel. So goes the tale of Big G.
Mr. Simon: [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?
Narrator: Big G had ...
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Crazy Credits

During the credits photos from the Eagles yearbook are accompanied by a brief description of the future of the main characters. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes III: Not in 3D (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Go Ahead And Dream
Written by Rick Jensen
Performed by Alexander Walters
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User Reviews

 
A good coming of age story
18 March 2012 | by caigedSee all my reviews

There are so many "coming of age" stories out there now so do we really need another one? Yes, if it's done well and That's What I Am gets my vote for another addition to the genre.

Right of the bat the opening narration and the time setting reminded me of The Wonder Years, an excellent coming of age series set in the 60s. I felt I was in familiar territory and wondered if this would follow the episodes of TWY, where an older Kevin would narrate a particular episode in his young life which ended with a valuable lesson being learned. I wasn't to be disappointed as there are quite a few lessons this movie teaches: prejudice, courage, dignity, friendship, honour and tolerance.

The story's about a young "cool" kid being paired off with a social outcast, something which he's not very happy about. It might not sound like the most interesting premise and one would think that the movie would focus on their blossoming friendship but that's far from the truth. Instead, the story uses that point to focus on other issues in the 60s, issues that are mainstream and accepted today as norms but back then were new, and something to fear. There are several light moments, some dark ones, and some tear inducing moments that come at the right time and are just enough to make you smile and be glad that you watched the movie.

The acting is very good all round. Ed Harris, the most known name in the movie, is excellent in his somewhat supporting role. And that's the way it should be because the movie's about the kids in the school and not him, just in the way the movie's not all about Andy and Big G. One thing seems to remain the same...the social classes in schools back then were no different to those today. Sure, there were no EMO kids, no Goths, or preppy kids but there were still distinctions that are not so different from what we see in modern set teen high school movies.

All in all, this is definitely one to watch. If you liked The Wonder Years then you should definitely watch this movie as you'll feel right at home. This is one coming of age movie that will make you smile, and cry, and smile some more.


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