Reece Daniel Thompson, Anna Kendrick, Nicholas DAgosto, Vincent Piazza, Aaron Yoo, Josh Kay
"Rocket Science" is a film about life; in particular, Hal Hefners complicated, coming of age life. Do not be fooled into thinking this is just another teen comedy, even though there is the awkward first love, the tormenting older brother and the angst of going from middle school to high school.
Into the mix of all the usual elements of adolescent uncertainty add the fact that our main character Hal, played by Reece Daniel Thompson, has a stutter. We meet Hal and his brother Earl as they witness their father walking out on them as their mother bemoans their fathers faults.
Jeffrey Blitz wrote and directed this film. He has an uncanny sense of the frailties and absurdities that life serves up. Although not autobiographical, Jeffrey Blitz did stutter in high school and joined the debate team in hopes of conquering his impediment. Our character Hal gets recruited into joining the debate team by a formidable, competitive, self assured second-place winner from the year before.
Anna Kendrick aka Ginny Ryerson plays the single minded, over achieving student determined to rebound from the consternation of former teammate, Ben Wekselbaums (Nicholas DAgosto) downfall at last years debate finals. No mourning for Ginny no time cut your losses and move on. This is a girl with a mission.
Unfortunately for Hal, being the tool by which Ginny hopes to mold into a winning combination only serves to confuse him. What does she see in him? What attracts her to him? How will he get to first base? Does she really believe the stuttering Hal can recite a counterpoint for a debate on teen abstinence?
It is precisely those questions that keep us watching and rooting for this unlikely underdog. In fact, dont we all ask those questions of ourselves? What do they see in me? What is the attraction? Will I make the cut? Combine this earnest search for the meaning of life and the eclectic soundtrack and lyrics by Eef Barzelay (of Clem Snide) and the Violent Femmes and youll find this movie a winner.
Although we cant say as much for Hals debating skills; we certainly can enjoy the humorous, and at times, painfully human script that tells this story of one teens discovery and triumph.
Chic Stars: 4.5
Jans Movie Rating System:
5 – Top notch entertainment
4 – Compelling, Heartwarming, Thrilling, Comical
3 – The a) story b) actors c) special effects saved/made this movie.
2 – If you are bored watch it, or wait for DVD
1 – Dont bother. Too morose, too violent, too blasé, an enigma.