Dave's Rating:


… cute first, satirical second.

Who's in It: Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis, Robert Downey Jr.

The Basics: Hey, parents, remember that loveable, irrepressible Ferris Bueller? Remember how his big rebellion was skipping school and going to an art museum and eating pancreas, lip-synching to a Beatles song and then crashing an expensive car? Well now, he's a drug dealer, giving your kids prescription anti-depressants while the clueless adults all around him let it happen right under their noses.

What's the Deal? It's tough to know what to say about a movie like this. On the one hand, anti-drug hysteria in this country is such a joke that it's a joke that's not even funny anymore. If drugs were all that bad, reggae wouldn't exist and there wouldn't be a medical-marijuana store on every block in my Los Angeles neighborhood. On the other hand, I personally know of a 17-year-old who overdosed and died because some moronic teen dealer she knew gave her some toxic stuff. So instead, why don't we just talk about whether the movie is funny or not? And the answer is: sorta.

What's Good: Yelchin is a likeable Ferris clone (I'd say "2.0," but the teen rebel is such a cliché that there've been countless numbers of them on screens before and after Matthew Broderick), and he carries the whole movie with a bounce that lesser young actors would have turned into smug jerkfaceness.

What's Not: All the stock characters and their stock problems (popularity being the all-time No. 1 "issue" that never seems to go away) get wrapped up a little too neatly because, above all, this is a film that wants to be cute first, satirical second.

Who Wins: As always, Hope Davis. Here she's the boozy, out-of-it mom who treats her son more like a surrogate mate than a child she's supposed to be raising. Think Annette Bening in Running With Scissors but much less hammy and psychotic.


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