Everyone, at least on occasion, needs a reminder that they aren’t alone and that their problems and fears aren’t as bad as they think. This film does a fabulous job of turning a 16 year old’s angst into everyone’s self-doubts and provides the backdrop to gain perspective. And, it manages to do this without getting too overly sentimental. I suspect, also, that this is one of those wonderful films that will mean different things to everyone depending on when they watch it. I’ve already bookmarked it in my mind to rewatch it again in a year to see what I get from it then.
The main character is played by Keir Gilchrist, from The United States of Tara, and he brings the same wonderful guilessness to this role. You can’t help but feel for the kid or feel kinship with him. We’ve all been there, and through his self-doubt, we get to grow.
While this film isn’t perfect and it relies on the occasional cliche, the telling of the story is engaging and, at times, outright hilarious. And always, it remains honest to itself. In many ways, it is part of a new wave of films from younger directors that have come up with similar approaches in 300 Days of Summer (review on this appears lost), Scott Pilgrim vs The World, and even Kick-Ass, to name a few. Not that any of these are appropriate, direct, references, but it wouldn’t be out of order to watch it as a double feature with any of them stylistically. And, in the cass of 300 Days of Summer, it probably is even thematically well-linked.