Rocket Science's Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson), left speechless by girls, school and the trials of adolescence in general.
Rocket Science's Hal Hefner (Reece Thompson), left speechless by girls, school and the trials of adolescence in general. Jim Bridges/Picturehouse
- Director: Jeffrey Blitz
- Genre: Comedy
- Running Time: 98 minutes
Director Jeffrey Blitz won an Oscar nomination for his first movie, Spellbound, a documentary about a national spelling bee. He's still dealing with adolescents and school contests in his first fiction film — a comedy about a stutterer who joins the debate team to impress a pretty girl.
Think you know where this is going? Well, Blitz is an outsider to Hollywood, and he's going someplace else: into quirky, indie-flick social satire, which isn't an altogether unfamiliar place these days.
In fact, there have been enough offbeat coming-of-age comedies in just the last couple of years — The Squid and the Whale, Napoleon Dynamite, Little Miss Sunshine — that it's possible now to say that this film is unconventional in mostly conventional ways. Still, between Blitz, who proves a clever writer and director, and his young leading man (Reece Thompson, who puts a lot of character behind that stutter), the smarts and charm of Rocket Science are simply not open to debate. (Recommended)